HC Deb 30 July 1953 vol 518 cc1511-2
9. Mr. Braine

asked the Minister of Health what progress has been made in providing additional accommodation for mental defectives at the South Ockendon Institution.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Two new villas of 40 beds each have just been completed and the Board plan to begin work on another similar villa this year and have proposals for a fourth in 1955. In addition, three properties have been purchased for adaptation to provide 98 beds.

Mr. Braine

While recognising that this additional accommodation will substantially reduce the tragically long waiting list in Essex, can my right hon. Friend say whether he anticipates any staffing difficulties?

Mr. Macleod

I have no particular knowledge of any staffing difficulty at the South Ockendon Institution, but I do not attempt to disguise the fact that the staffing problem in the mental services generally is most serious.