HC Deb 31 October 1955 vol 545 cc645-6
10. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health in how many cases in England and Wales during 1952 and 1953 it has been necessary to summon police assistance for the purpose of removing persons as involuntary patients to mental hospitals or observation wards under summary reception orders and urgency orders.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I regret that the information is not available.

Dr. Johnson

Does not my right hon. Friend share my regret at this fact, in view of the interference with individual liberty which is caused by such police action and action of his officers, and does he not consider that this summoning of policemen is an unfortunate manner of initiating the treatment of the mentally sick? Will he not consider the establishment of an emergency psychiatric service so that patients will have the benefit of specialist advice before being deprived of their liberty?

Mr. Macleod

I think that as this matter is before the Royal Commission we should be well advised to see what it has to recommend.