HC Deb 09 April 1957 vol 568 cc108-9W
Mr. D. Howell

asked the Minister of Health, in view of the fact that the weekly amount per patient in mental hospitals spent upon food now equals 20s., whether additional moneys have been made available to other hospitals in order to reach this figure; how far hospitals are expected to spend more upon food by economising in other directions; and if he is satisfied that 20s. is now sufficient to provide an adequate and varied diet.

Mr. Vosper

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply of 11th March to the hon. Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Mayhew). The additional money will enable considerable improvements to be made in the diet at mental and mental deficiency hospitals, but it is too early for me to assess the results, or to confirm the figure of 20s. suggested by the hon. Member. The last part of the Question does not therefore arise. No money has been made available specifically for improving the diet at other hospitals, but hospital boards are each given money for the development of their services, which, together with any savings brought about by increased efficiency, can at their discretion be used for this purpose.