§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Service if he is satisfied that adequate provision is being made to deal with the growing number of elderly demented people, whose condition is too serious for containment in ordinary old people's homes, but not so medically ill as to require hospitalisation.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
I know that many health and local authorities share my concern about this issue. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the letter sent last month by my noble Friend Lord Trefgarne to the chairmen of regional health authorities in England, launching an initiative aimed at improving the care of elderly mentally ill people generally: this stresses that health and local authorities must so plan together that between them they provide an integrated and comprehensive service. The small-scale experimental schemes for providing homely care through health and social service co-operation, which I mentioned in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Mr. Bowden) on 30 June 1982—[Vol. 26, c. 330]—will I hope in time provide some help to authorities in deciding what provision can best be made.