HL Deb 10 October 1994 vol 557 cc100-1WA
Lord Pearson of Rannoch

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will reverse their present policy and encourage local authorities to support sheltered and village communities for the mentally handicapped, in the view of: the circular from the Welsh Office dated 20th April 1994 giving comparative costings for keeping a mentally handicapped person in the community and in a residential hospital; the low cost of supporting the mentally handicapped in residential communities such as the one at Brookvale, near Manchester, and the ongoing national survey by the national society for mentally handicapped people, Rescare, on the wishes of families of mentally handicapped people.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege)

It is for the local statutory authorities to decide on the pattern of disability services in their area in the light of an assessment of individual needs and available resources. Guidance issued by the Health Departments does not prevent them from purchasing or providing places in sheltered and village communities if this is the best way of meeting the needs and wishes of people in their area.