HC Deb 14 July 1958 vol 591 c800
14. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health if he will increase the facilities for the administration of electroconvulsant therapy in the out-patients' departments of general hospitals.

Mr. Walker-Smith

These facilities are being provided by the responsible hospital authorities as their resources permit.

Dr. Johnson

Will my right hon. and learned Friend further this type of treatment suggested in this Question, first, on account of the obvious saving of hospital beds which would be entailed if it were successful? Secondly, will he have in mind that on occasions one gets complaints from people who suffer from after effects of this kind of treatment which they attribute to rather intensive courses of treatment in hospitals, sometimes against their own will, and this kind of out-patient treatment would allow them to consult their family doctors from time to time and thus obtain an independent opinion in such circumstances?

Mr. Walker-Smith

As I think my hon. Friend knows, there is an increasing tendency for patients suffering from mental illness to be treated in out-patient departments of mental hospitals. The logical corollary of that is that there should be more facilities for electro-convulsant therapy at those hospitals.