§ 30. Mr. Blenkinsop
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking to improve the mental health services in South Shields.
§ Mr. Alison
For the mentally ill 32 beds have recently been added to Cherry Knowle Hospital, and work on a new 34-bed unit at South Shields General Hospital is planned to start next April. A small unit for the mentally handicapped at South Shields General has been replaced by better, new accommodation at Earls House, Durham. My Department is to discuss further developments with the regional hospital board and the local authority in the light of the Government's decision that more resources should be allocated to mental health.
§ Mr. Blenkinsop
I welcome the signs of concern which have already been expressed. Will the Minister do all he can to speed up provision, because there is some anxiety about the position in the area?