HC Deb 21 July 1958 vol 592 cc8-9
18. Mr. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Health what consideration he has given to the inclusion of mental hospitals within a mixed group system in the Birmingham region; and whether he is satisfied that this system is the most satisfactory.

Mr. Walker-Smith

This question was reviewed by the Birmingham Regional Hospital Board at the request of one of my predecessors: the Board did not propose any change in the existing arrangements and, in present circumstances, I see no reason for disagreeing with its view.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Would my right hon. and learned Friend not agree that his Ministry, the Guillebaud Committee and a considerable amount of medical opinion connected with mental health in this country are of the opinion that separate groups of mental hospitals are preferable? Would he do something to make sure that the system throughout the whole country is uniform?

Mr. Walker-Smith

No. With respect to my hon. Friend, I am advised that there is no clear evidence of that proposition, and indeed there are arguments for the contrary view. There is a rather nice balance of advantage in these matters, and I think a strong case would be required to justify making a change which in any event would lead to an increase in administrative costs.