HC Deb 23 June 1971 vol 819 cc305-6W
Mr. Redmond

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is aware that children are being treated in mental hospitals alongside adults in unsuitable conditions because there are few special places in centres where they would be among people of their own age; to how many districts this applies; and what action he is proposing to take to improve the position in view of the fact that the mental health of these young people may be jeopardised and delayed if treated in unsuitable surroundings.

Mr. Alison

In January, 1970, when a special count was made in hospitals and hospital units for the mentally ill in England, four children and 288 adolescents were in adult wards. Not all these were necessarily in unsuitable conditions; some adolescents are better placed in wards with adults. There are special units for children in all hospital regions except East Anglia and for adolescents in all regions except Newcastle, North-East Metropolitan, and South-Western. My Department will shortly be meeting officers of each regional hospital board to discuss their plans for services for the mentally ill, including those for children and adolescents.