HC Deb 22 February 1972 vol 831 cc1083-4
8. Mr. Hicks

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider seeking to introduce a fixed scale of payments and benefits, based on a regional structure, for patients discharged from psychiatric hospitals into approved private accommodation in the community.

Mr. Dean

No, Sir. A fixed scale would be less flexible than the existing arrangements. Local authorities have powers to make contributions towards the cost of accommodation where earnings or supplementary benefits are insufficient to meet the needs of ex-patients who require supportive aftercare.

Mr. Hicks

Is my hon. Friend aware that his right hon. Friend's highly desirable scheme for placing these former patients in society could—I put it no more strongly than that at this stage—be put in jeopardy if the necessary funds are not available to the recipients in order that they can pay for this approved accommodation?

Mr. Dean

Yes. It is highly desirable that this should be so. I know that my hon. Friend has a particular case in mind, about which I have written to him. I hope that he feels that my reply was satisfactory.