HC Deb 18 June 1974 vol 875 c188
6. Mr. Christopher Mayhew

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proposals she has for reviving and extending the work of the Hospital Advisory Service in relation to mental hospitals.

Mrs. Castle

I attach great importance to the work of the Hospital Advisory Service. I am considering this in the wider context of my responsibilities for standards of care in the health and social services generally, referred to in paragraph 7 of "Democracy in the National Health Service". I hope to make proposals shortly. In the meantime, one Hospital Advisory Service team is continuing its visits to mental illness hospitals.

Mr. Mayhew

I appreciate the sympathetic tone of that answer. Does it imply that the Secretary of State is considering the possibility not only of restoring the work of the Hospital Advisory Service in relation to mental hospitals, but of extending it to the provision of services for the mentally sick by local authorities?

Mrs. Castle

I am considering the rôle and potentialities of the Hospital Advisory Service very widely. I am aware of the importance of the work that it has done in the area in which my hon. Friend is interested. I shall be making proposals about the mentally handicapped and the Hospital Advisory Service as soon as I possibly can.