HC Deb 02 February 1971 vol 810 cc1443-4
10. Mr. Iremonger

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many beds in units specifically designed for the psychiatric treatment of adolescents are at present available in the areas of the South-East, South-West, North-West and North-East Regional Hospital Boards, respectively; when work is to start on the adolescent unit at Goodmayes Hospital; and how many beds are to be provided.

Mr. Alison

77, 48, 30 and none respectively; in the Spring; 28.

Mr. Iremonger

Is not this rather a poor record? What does the Minister propose to do about it?

Mr. Alison

The record, particularly in the North-East Metropolitan Region, promises to improve with the commencement, we hope before long, of the Goodmayes unit to provide 28 more beds, which would eliminate at any rate the total failure so far of that region to make any provision.

Mr. Conlon

Does the Minister appreciate that the figures which he has just given are appalling? Does this not represent a general inadequacy of beds in these regions? When will the Minister take steps to ensure that the worse-off regions get a larger proportion of the resources available?

Mr. Alison

There is a general national shortage of beds for this category. My right hon. Friend has made special allocations, both of capital and revenue, to assist regional boards to plan further provision.