§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many residential places for adults with mental handicap have been purchased by(a) health authorities and (b) social services departments in the past year; 
(2) how many residential places for children with mental handicap have been purchased by (a) health authorities and (b) social services departments in the past year. 
§ Mr. Bowis
The number of community occupied bed days purchased for patients with learning disabilities in England by the national health service in nursing homes, residential care homes or group homes in England in 1994–95 was reported to be 5.3 million, an average of 14,500 places on any one day. The figure is for all ages, including children; no age breakdown is available.
English social services departments supported 23,000 adult residents with learning disabilities in residential or nursing care in England at 31 March 1995. Comparable information for children is not available centrally. For Wales, this is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
§ Mr. Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the effect on the funds and resources available to support people with mental handicap needing residential care of the closure of mental handicap hospitals and the sale of hospital sites; 566W
(2) what steps he is taking to provide alternative provision for the care of those patients with mental handicap currently in mental hospitals which have already published locally their closure dates. 
§ Mr. Bowis
It is for health and local authorities to work together to determine the best use of financial and other resources in planning the development of community based services for people with learning disabilities.
Decisions about the provision of services to meet the continuing care needs of patients with learning disabilities in long-stay hospitals are for the relevant heath authorities in consultation with social service departments and in the light of departmental guidance contained in HSG(92)42, LAC(92)15 and HSG(95)8, copies of which are available in the Library. In Wales, this is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
§ Mr. Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people with mental handicap were in(a) mental handicap hospitals and (b) other residential provision, including local authority, private, or voluntary in (i) 1970, (ii) 1980, (iii) 1990 and (iv) the most recent year for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Bowis
Centrally available information for England is shown in the table.
Adults with learning disabilities in hospitals and residential care, England National health service hospitals and units1 Private hospitals, beds1 Nursing homes, beds2 Residential homes, places2 1970 55,400 — — 33,100 1980 44,400 — — 413,800 1990 24,900 1,200 — 31,000 1995 11,400 40 3,200 39,000
DH annual returns, HES, RHAs.
1 The figures are not directly comparable over time because of changes in the method of data collection. The 1970 and 1980 figures are estimates of residents at 31 December derived from the mental health inquiry which covered NHS mental handicap hospitals and units. The 1990 and 1995 figures are estimates of those in hospital under the care of a learning disabilities consultant, at 31 March. They are estimates based on a combination of data from the hospital episodes system and data obtained directly from the regional health authorities.
2Figures for beds and places have been given, rather than for occupied beds and residents, because the latter are not available before 1994 and 1987 respectively.
3This figure is from 1969 and may not be the same basis as later data.
4Includes children with learning disabilities in voluntary and private homes (of which there were 800 in 1983).