HC Deb 29 March 1976 vol 908 cc397-8W
Mr. David Hunt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when she proposes to make Regulations under Section 6(3) of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970.

Dr. Owen

My right hon. Friend has no plans to make Regulations under Section 6(3) of this Act. At present it is not possible to prescribe qualifications without treating unfairly the many senior officers who, through no fault of their own, have not in the past had the opportunity to obtain prescribable qualifications.

The Act provides that, until qualifications can be prescribed, no local authority may appoint a Director of Social Services—under Section 6(1) of the Act—without consulting the Secretary of State for Social

ill or mentally handicapped in England and Wales in 1974–75 was as follows:

Homes and hostels for mentally handicapped children £48
Homes and hostels for mentally handicapped adults £26
Homes and hostels for mentally ill £19

The costs have been calculated by dividing the average weekly expenditure by the estimated average number of residents. They exclude loan charges and capital expenditure met on revenue account; they also exclude costs of administration which cannot be apportioned to individual services. No adjustments have been made to these costs to take account of residents' contributions towards maintenance.

Mr. Parkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the most recent estimate of the average in-patient costs per week of a patient in a mental hospital, and in a mental handicap hospital, in England and Wales.

Dr. Owen

The latest year for which full information is available is 1973–74, and the figures are given below; provisional figures are also shown for 1974–75.

Services. If she is of the opinion that any person whose name is put forward through these consultations is not an appropriate person to be Director she may give directions prohibiting his appointment. Local authorities were advised in a circular letter (LASSL 14/73) issued in April 1973 of the criteria to be applied when selecting a Director of Social Services. Although the circular was issued in connection with appointments arising from the reorganisation of local government, the criteria still apply. I am placing a copy in the Library.