§ Mr. Bowden
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what initiatives his Department supports in the field of nursing-home type care for elderly people; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
On 4 February—[Vol. 17, c. 558]—my right hon. Friend announced an initiative to set up three experimental nursing homes for elderly people within the National Health Service. They will each provide between 25 and 30 beds and will be located in Fleetwood, Portsmouth and Sheffield. The schemes will be funded jointly by the Department and the three health authorities concerned, and will be evaluated from the Department's research funds. In total, the departmental contribution will amount to between £1,750,000 and £2 million. I hope that two of the schemes will become operational within the next 12 months and the third shortly thereafter.
In addition to the three experimental nursing homes we are hoping to set up a second set of experimental schemes for elderly patients with psychiatric disorders, and we may try out more than one pattern of care.