§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the efficiency of 655W system of notification between hospitals and the local social services department on the discharge of patients from hospital.
§ Mrs. Currie
We believe the system normally works well; however, a few cases have given cause for concern. A draft circular has therefore been prepared and issued for comment. It updates existing advice and reminds health authorities of the need to establish and thereafter monitor clear procedures to be followed when patients are discharged from hospital. including notification of social services departments. Comments already received on the draft circular indicate that many authorities already have effective systems for notifying local social services departments about patients being discharged from hospitals. The circular is being revised in the light of comments received, and will be issued in the autumn.