HC Deb 15 December 1986 vol 107 cc408-9W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what provision he will make for hospice facilities for acquired immune deficiency syndrome victims;

(2) whether disused hospital and health facilities will be made available to voluntary organisations for use as hospices for acquired immune deficiency syndrome victims.

Mr. Newton

Hospices provide a tranquil environment in which terminally ill people can end their days with dignity, and they provide an invaluable service. But they do not provide the only form of care needed by terminally ill people since many of these, whether AIDS sufferers or not, will not wish to receive this form of care, or may need types of acute care that hospices may not be able to provide. We shall expect health authorities to have regard to the need for terminal care services as part of a broad range of facilities which they will need to make available to meet the differing needs and wishes of AIDS patients.

Mr. Dubs

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of (a) the number of hospital beds and (b) other National Health Service resources, that will be required over the next 10 years in (i) London and (ii) the rest of England and Wales to deal with persons suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Mr. Newton

Beds and other health care resources do not have to be dedicated specifically for this purpose. The wide spectrum of illnesses associated with the infection will be treated in district general hospital in-patient and out-patient facilities and by the family practitioner and community health services. The need for resources for services for AIDS sufferers will be taken into account when allocations to health authorities for the coming year are decided, but it is not possible to take a sensible view at this stage of requirements in 10 years time. These will depend on our success in containing the spread of the infection.