HC Deb 02 March 1989 vol 148 cc315-6W
Mr Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he is taking to ensure that severely physically disabled people do not remain in acute hospital beds, in an inappropriate setting for long-term care, because of a shortfall of alternative provisions.

Mr. Mellor

Responsibility for providing the most appropriate type of care for disabled people rests with health and local authorities. It is up to each authority to determine the level and pattern of services in their area in the light of local priorities and resources. The Department recently issued a Health Circular/Local Authority Circular, HC(88)43/LAC(88)14, and a Health Notice/Local Authority Social Services Letter, HN(88)26/LASSL(88)8, which drew attention to the need to promote the independence of disabled people and to use the acute, rehabilitation and continuing care services in an effective way.

Mr. Hannam

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many local authorities have made use of their power to co-opt disabled people on to local authority committees under section 15 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled persons Act 1970.

Mr Mellor

We do not hold this information centrally. The legislation to which the hon. Member refers is now reinforced by section 10 of the 1986 Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act. The social services inspectorate is currently undertaking a monitoring exercise of the effect on social services departments of those sections of the 1986 Act so far implemented. This should provide some valuable information as to how local authorities are developing awareness of the rights of disabled people to be represented.