§ Mr. D. E. Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he is satisfied with the provision for the elderly mentally infirm within the National Health Service in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
The Government have consistently urged health and social services authorities to give a high priority to services for elderly people, including the growing numbers of those suffering from mental infirmity. To assist their efforts we have designated services for elderly and mentally ill people among those in respect of which the minimum efficiency savings required of the district health authorities under the annual reviews are to be reinvested; we have through our "Care in the Community" initiative removed obstacles to the development of more appropriate care and support for people in their homes rather than in NHS institutions; we have commended to them the report entitled "The Rising Tide" produced by the NHS health advisory service, which suggests how integrated model health and social services for this group can be developed; and we are now actively exploring with representatives of the health and social services authorities how best to give fresh impetus to the development of support in the community.