§ 73. Dame Irene Ward
asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the criticism of the conditions obtaining in the St. Nicholas Hospital, made by the Chairman of the Northumberland County Council, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Tyne-mouth; and whether he will ensure that finance is made available to the Newcastle 114W Regional Hospital Board to improve the conditions under which patients are housed.
§ Mr. Powell
I have seen a Press report of a statement attributed to the chairman of the county council and relating to overcrowding in mental hospitals. At the end of September, 1960, St. Nicholas Hospital was overcrowded by 20.1 per cent., compared with 37.1 per cent. in 1955. Current developments in psychiatry should help to reduce overcrowding still more rapidly in future. An admission unit costing £264,605 was opened in 1957; over £98,000 was spent on other improvements in 1959–60 and a further £32,636 is being spent this year.