§ Mr. Ronald Atkins
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he 443W intends to publish a report on national development teams; and, if so, when.
§ Mr. Ennals
The Director of the Development Team for the Mentally Handicapped will be submitting a report to me this autumn on the team's activities over the past year, and I am discussing arrangements for publication with him.
§ Mr. Moonman
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what are the procedures and criteria for including people on the panel for the National Development Team;
(2) how particular units or services will be selected for study by the National Development Team;
(3) if he will make a statement as to the status of reports and recommendations made by the National Development Team;
(4) whether his Department has issued any guidelines to the National Development Team as to what it should look for on its visits;
(5) if he will make a statement about the method to be adopted to ensure that authorities which have been the subject of study by the National Development Team act on the team's recommendations.
§ Mr. Ennals
The Development Team for the Mentally Handicapped is available to advise health and local authorities on any aspect of mental handicap services. It operates independently of, although assisted by, my Department. Visits are arranged at the specific invitation of the authority concerned to whom reports are made. The team is, however, making special arrangements to visit all facilities for mentally handicapped children over a period. Several children's units have already been visited. It is for authorities themselves to decide what action should be taken on reports, but the team keeps my Department informed of significant matters which arise. Panel members are selected by virtue of their experience and knowledge of particular aspects of the services, care and management required by the mentally handicapped. They are then chosen by the director as members of teams for studies and exercises which require their particular qualifications and experience.