HC Deb 19 November 1956 vol 560 cc1362-3
20. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health what record he keeps of patients who enter hospital as voluntary patients and who are subsequently certified while in hospital; and what is the number of such patients during the last most convenient year.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

Records for England and Wales are kept by the Registrar-General. In 1954, the latest year for which figures are available, 576 persons who entered as voluntary patients were subsequently certified whilst in hospital, representing 1.12 per cent. of total voluntary admissions.

Dr. Johnson

Will my hon. Friend take such steps as are possible to see that this figure is reduced to an absolute minimum so that voluntary patients may have no feeling of apprehension about being certified when they enter hospital?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

I think the recently published figures, showing that the number of voluntary patients has gone up from 45 per cent. to 75 per cent., show very much that, so far as possible, we have voluntary rather than certified patients.

Mr. Hastings

Will the hon. Lady also keep in mind the need of the public to be protected from dangerous persons?

Mr. F. Harris

Will my hon. Friend say whether such people are certified by one doctor only, or is it required that more than one doctor should certify them?