§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many officers are appointed to inspect private and publicly owned residential homes in each health authority area in England(a) for elderly people, (b) for mentally disabled people, (c) for mentally ill people and (d) for physically disabled people; and if he will outline the training and guidance which such officers have received.
§ Mr. Newton
Information about the number of local authority staff engaged on these functions is not held centrally. The Department has issued general guidance to authorities about residential care and the registration system. The Secretary of State has commended to them the code of practice for residential care, "Home Life". This spring the Department's social services inspectorate is running jointly with the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work a series of workshops to support good registration and inspection practice and the handling of complaints. The Department is also arranging in conjunction with the Welsh Office the preparation of distance-learning material for the basic training of the staff of local authorities and health authorities engaged on the registration and inspection respectively of residential care homes and nursing homes.