HC Deb 21 November 1960 vol 630 cc761-2
43. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Health what reforms have taken place at the Rampton Mental Hospital during the past two years; what reforms are contemplated, or under consideration; and when the present practice requiring men and women patients to be in bed by 7.30 p.m. to suit the convenience of the staffing arrangements is to be changed, in the best interests of the patients, until a later hour.

Mr. Powell

Since the answer to the first part of the Question is long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. I hope that a later bedtime for male patients can be introduced from 1st January; the same will be done on the female side as soon as recruitment permits.

Mr. Dodds

I should like to thank the Minister for what he has done, and hope for the best in what I read in the report. Is he aware that parents who have been travelling for many years to Rampton to see long-term patients are deeply appreciative of the splendid reforms which have taken place in the last year? They are appreciated very much, both in respect of the patients and the care and welfare visitors themselves receive. Will the right hon. Gentleman thank his staff and the superintendent for those reforms?

Mr. Powell

indicated assent.

Dr. Summerskill

Can the Minister say how long he intends to keep the women in bed?

Mr. Powell

That depends upon the rate of recruitment—but it will be no longer than I can help.

Following is the information: Changes which have taken place in the past two years include the following:
  1. (1) An increased programme of social rehabilitation, including additional classes for patients (on housewifery, hobbies and remedial education), also special classes for low-grade patients and for patients awaiting transfer.
  2. (2) Appointment of a psychiatric social worker and of a chiropodist.
  3. (3) Modernisation of the sanitary facilities.
  4. (4) Increased amenities for patients, including television in all wards, refurnishing of some wards, improvement of female patients' clothing, and extension of male workshops.
  5. (5) Provision of additional bus service for relatives visiting Rampton.
  6. (6) Increased visits by people from outside to patients with no relatives.
Other changes which are planned include the following:
  1. (a) I hope that as from 1st January it will be possible to reduce the hours of the male nursing staff from 52½ to 44 per week and to introduce a three-shift system.
  2. (b) The same will be done on the female side as soon as recruitment permits.
  3. (c) There is to be an increase in the medical establishment at the hospital.
  4. (d) a football field and running track are under construction.
  5. (e) There are proposals for building a gymnasium and a church.
  6. (f) An improvement in the library service is being considered.