asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied that the system of registration distinguishes accurately between residential homes, sheltered homes, and voluntary, private and nursing homes for the elderly; if he will consult the local authorities to obtain such accuracy and the maintenance of facilities appropriate to each case; and if he will make a statement.
So far as I am aware there has been no difficulty in establishing which homes are subject to registration. It is the responsibility of the local authority to consider each home individually and to decide whether to grant or withdraw registration.
Will the Under-Secretary have regard to paragraph 9 of chapter 1 of the excellent departmental report about the elderly in residential care where comments are made to the effect that it is not always easy to distinguish between voluntary and private homes, and that some evidence suggests that a few homes may be wrongly registered? There may be houses and hotels used for residential care not registered as such with the local authority. Would he examine this to ensure that such premises are registered and observe very high standards?
I note what the hon. Member said. Certainly the voluntary bodies, the churches and the private bodies register under the Social Work Act and the social work departments will be watching the position very closely. The nursing homes which the hon. Gentleman mentioned in the original Question come under the Nursing Homes Act. 1938, registered, again, by the local authority. But I will ask the social work departments to take particular note of his point on hotel accommodation and hostels.