HC Deb 22 February 1972 vol 831 c1081
5. Sir B. Rhys Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement as to his policy for expansion of preventive psychiatric services and the provision of facilities for mental aftercare.

Sir K. Joseph

Recent advice I have sent to hospital and local authorities envisages a comprehensive hospital and community service for the mentally ill in every district. I have asked hospital and local authorities to consult together to ensure that their plans dovetail, and further guidance on the pattern of community services is in preparation. The resources allocated for local authority capital expenditure take account of the need for development.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that in the matter of after-care it is far more humane as well as cheaper to concentrate on rehabilitation rather than to fall back on re-admission? Will he concentrate on the problems of local authorities who wish to meet their obligations but who run into financial obstacles if they seek to do so?

Sir K. Joseph

Yes, Sir; those are all unobjectionable sentiments, but we are not as aware as we should like to be on how to achieve these objectives in rehabilitation.

Mr. Mayhew

What reason does the right hon. Gentleman have for supposing that hospitals and local authorities will co-operate as he suggests?

Sir K. Joseph

I shall be monitoring this co-operation from the hospital end intensively, and I shall shortly ask local authorities for a ten-year plan on the social services side which will enable me to see how well their plans dovetail in with the hospital plans.