HC Deb 05 May 1971 vol 816 c1356
14. Mr. James Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to publish a White Paper on the mentally handicapped; and what steps he is taking at present to improve overcrowding and the provision of personal clothing to the mentally handicapped.

Mr. Edward Taylor

My right hon. Friend does not at present contemplate publishing a White Paper for Scotland, but he is considering whether to issue any further guidance to hospital and local authorities on the planning of services for the mentally handicapped, including measures to relieve overcrowding in hospitals and to improve other facilities.

Mr. Hamilton

Will the hon. Gentleman recognise that those of us who have mental hospitals in our constituencies know that many of them are grossly overcrowded? Will he agree that the mental health service is the Cinderella of our Health Service, and that many of the patients, for reasons well known to us all, require clothing? Will he now introduce some provision to obviate this difficulty?

Mr. Taylor

I certainly share the hon. Member's view that more needs to be done and the additional funds which have been made available for the hopsital and social work programme should help in this direction. General guidance on clothing was given in 1968, when the therapeutic value of personal clothing was stressed.

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