HC Deb 06 December 1973 vol 865 cc444-5W
Mr. Faulds

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the number of home helps in the Warley area; and what numbers per 1,000 population over 65 years of age this figure represents.

Mr. Alison

The figures for the county borough of Warley are as follows :

action he is taking to increase the service; and if he will make a statement.

Sir K. Joseph

The available information relating to a sample week in November 1972 is contained in my Department's statistical table A/F72/9—"Meal Services"—a copy of which is in the Library. I seek to encourage local authorities to expand this important service in a variety of ways. The report of a short-term study into ways of increasing output from the existing resources used by the meals on wheels service was recently sent to local authorities under cover of DHSS Circular 52/73. I hope to mount further studies of the longer-term possibilities for expansion of meals provision. A manual of guidance in the day-to-day running of the service is in course of preparation.

In recent years the number of meals provided has been expanding at an annual average rate of between 12 and 15 per cent. a year, and this is reflected in the estimates of expenditure on personal social services in 1974–75 on which the recent rate support grant settlement was based.