HC Deb 06 November 1961 vol 648 cc618-9
45. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Health how many local authorities have provided residential hostels for patients on discharge from mental hospitals; what is the number of hostels completed; and what is the number on which work has started.

Miss Pitt

Seven authorities have had loan sanction specifically for this purpose. To date four hostels have been completed and work started on four others.

Mr. Pavitt

In view of this appallingly low figure, will the hon. Lady do what she can to secure greater financial resources to local authorities to encourage them to proceed with this most important work?

Miss Pitt

I do not think that the answer is greater loan sanction. Local authorities have tended to concentrate on the provision of training centres for the mentally sub-normal. I hope that more and more of them will now be able to turn their attention to the provision of hostels for the mentally ill.

Mr. Robinson

Is the hon. Lady aware that the provision of this type of hostel is probably the first priority for the hospital authorities, and that they have asked local authorities to make this provision and the response has been very disappointing? What can she and her right hon. Friend do to encourage local authorities to build more hostels?

Miss Pitt

Local authorities are aware of the importance that we attach to the provision of these hostels which have such a part to play in the full implementation of the Mental Health Act. We certainly encourage them so to do. The fact that we now have before us the 10-year hospital development plans will show what progress is being made.

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