HC Deb 21 March 1973 vol 853 cc147-8W
Mr. H. Boardman

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many beds will be available for psychogeriatric patients in the proposed new wards at Billinge Hospital and Atherleigh Hospital at Leigh; and whether they are intended for short or long-term stay;

(2)if he will give comparative figures for other areas throughout the country to the 53 beds for psychogeriatric patients catering for a population of 300,000 represented by Billinge Hospital and Atherleigh Hospital at Leigh;

(3) in view of the shortage of beds for psychogeriatric patients at Billinge Hospital and Atherleigh Hospital at Leigh, if he will state when building will commence of the proposed new wards at these two hospitals; and at what dates they are expected to be ready for occupation.

Sir K. Joseph

Sixty new beds for the short- and long-term care of elderly patients with severe dementia are already in use at Billinge Hospital to serve the population of the Wigan area. 47 existing beds at Atherleigh Hospital serve this purpose for the population of the Leigh area. In addition, planning is in progress for the early provision of a 60-bed unit at Leigh Infirmary to be used for both geriatric and psychogeriatric assessment; no firm date can be set for occupation of this unit. The existing number of beds for senile dementia patients in these areas meets the recommended planning norm of 2.5 to 3 beds per 1,000 elderly population which the Department has recently asked all hospital authorities to adopt for this part of their services. Comparable figures for other parts of the country are not available.