HC Deb 18 June 1997 vol 296 c293
1. Mr. Edwards

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has for the development of mental health services in north Gwent. [2594]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Win Griffiths)

Gwent health authority is reviewing its mental health strategy. That review will be completed by November, when the authority will consider the options available to it.

Mr. Edwards

I congratulate my hon. Friend and the rest of the team on their appointment. For the first time in a long time, the Secretary of State for Wales represents a Welsh constituency.

May I express my concern at Gwent health authority's decision to cancel the Red Barn development—which was to be a new, modern psychiatric facility, following the closure of Pen-y-fal hospital—at the business ethos in the health service and at the way in which the private finance initiative is inappropriately used these days for services for mentally ill patients, including elderly people?

Mr. Griffiths

I thank my hon. Friend for his congratulations to the whole Welsh Office team.

My hon. Friend will appreciate that the Red Barn PFI was taken before we came to power; the fact that it has not been able to proceed seems to show that it was not given the fullest consideration at the outset. However, I assure him that the patients from Pen-y-fal hospital have been moved to Maindiff Court hospital, where there are better facilities. If he has any reservations about what is happening there, I would of course be happy to hear from him. Gwent health authority is consulting widely on its proposals and I will want to be assured that any alternative that it brings forward will meet the needs of elderly mentally ill people in his constituency and throughout Gwent.

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