HC Deb 14 May 1888 vol 326 cc149-50
MR. FIRTH (Dundee)

asked the President of the Local Government Board (referring to Return on Lunatic Asylums, No. 101), Whether he is able to say what is the explanation of the annual cost per head at Darenth Asylum being higher than that of any other asylum in England, and more than £10 per head higher than the cost at either Leavesden or Caterham?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

As regards the first part of the Question, the annual cost per head in the case of the County and Borough Asylums in the Return referred to applies only to the cost of maintenance. In the case of the Metropolitan Asylum District Asylums, however, the cost includes items which are not included in the cost of maintenance at the other Asylums. With regard to the cost at Darenth, as compared with the Leavesden and Caterham Asylums, it is to be observed that the latter asylums provide for a very much larger number of inmates than the Darenth Asylum. As regards the actual cost of the food of the patients, it is practically the same at Darenth as in the other asylums. The excess of cost arises under other heads of expenditure, and is to some extent accounted for by the fact that the Darenth Asylum has not had its full number of inmates; and also that the expenses of maintaining an establishment are not necessarily in proportion to the number of inmates which it provides for. I am not prepared to say, however, that these circumstances satisfactorily explain the difference in the cost, and I will direct the attention of the Managers to the matter.