HC Deb 18 July 1946 vol 425 cc1377-8
42. Mr. Frank Anderson

asked the Minister of Pensions why men who are suffering from neurosis trouble are sent to mental institutions and placed among patients who are considered to be other than neurotic cases; if he is aware that in two recent cases men who have been sent by his Department have applied to leave the institution as it was found that their condition was worsening considerably having regard to their surroundings; and what he is prepared to do to obviate this position in the future.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions (Mr. Blenkinsop)

It is not the practice of my Department to send patients suffering from neurosis to mental hospitals for treatment, unless they develop mental symptoms which make treatment in a mental hospital necessary. Neurosis cases needing in-patient treatment are recommended by my Department for admission to E.M.S. neurosis centres under arrangements made with the Ministry of Health, but exceptionally when it is certified by a psychiatrist that a patient is unsuitable for such a centre on account of his mental symptoms, he may be advised to enter a mental hospital as a voluntary patient.

Both pensioners referred to were admitted to a mental hospital in May last as voluntary patients. In neither case did the man make application to my Department for treatment, nor were the arrangements for admission made by my Department. A notification in one case was not received until the course of treatment had been terminated, and in the other case the treatment already arranged was ap- proved by my medical officers for the purpose of payment of treatment allowances and the cost of treatment. I am making further inquiry about the two cases and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible. If my inquiries indicate that the existing arrangements require modification, I will go into the matter.

Mr. Anderson

What arrangements are made before ex-Servicemen are sent to these institutions? Are the medical advisers satisfied that they are not placed with those who are insane? Are they satisfied that the institutions to which they are being sent at the present time can properly cater for them?

Mr. Blenkinsop

Yes, Sir, we are so satisfied.