HC Deb 07 May 1956 vol 552 cc815-6
17. Mr. Hastings

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that a deficiency of vitamins A and C in the diet of patients in Claybury Mental Hospital has been found to exist; and if he will have inquiries made as to the sufficiency of the diet in other mental hospitals and take any action found to be necessary

Mr. Turton

Yes. Sir. In an investigation made at Claybury Mental Hospital in the years 1951 to 1954, a deficiency of these vitamins was found, but steps have since been taken by the hospital to make it good. As a result of recent inquiries into feeding standards in mental and mental deficiency hospitals, I have this year made a special allocation of £500,000 to regional hospital boards to assist them in making improvements

Mr. Hastings

Will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that the result of this increased fund which is allowable is used to the best advantage in providing these necessities of life which, quite unexpectedly, were found deficient in Claybury Hospital?

Mr. Turton

I will certainly pay great attention to that. My catering officers will be looking into that very point

Mr. K. Robinson

Is the Minister aware that it has been estimated that an increase of about 5s. per week per patient is needed in mental hospitals to bring the dietary up to a reasonable standard? Will he give an assurance that the small but welcome amount which he has announced is only the beginning?

Mr. Turton

I certainly agree that I am not satisfied with merely an improvement of £500,000, but we must pay some attention to the general financial situation.