§ Mr. Hannam
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he intends to take to ensure that(a) there is a statutory duty upon local authorities to assess the needs of disabled people before discharge from long-term treatment in hospital and (b) that such a duty extends to people with physical or sensory disabilities as well as people with mental illness or mental handicap; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeman
The Department issued detailed guidance to health and local authorities in February 1989—LAC(89)7 and HC(89)5, copies of which are in the Library—emphasising the particular role and responsibilities of health and local authorities in ensuring that people do not leave hospital without adequate arrangements being made for their support in the community. Our recent White Paper "Caring for People" (Cmnd. 849) announced improved machinery for collaboration between health and local authorities in the provision of community care, and reaffirmed the responsibility of health authorities to ensure that discharge procedures are in place and agreed with the local authority so that people can return home with the support they need or move to appropriate care.