§ Mr. Flannery
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the proportion of psychiatric and geriatric beds per 1,000 of population in the South-Eastern Area compared with the Trent729W
Health Authority ; and if she will take the necessary steps to remedy any disparity.
§ Dr. Owen
Comparative figures in 1973, the latest year for which figures are available, per 1,000 geographic population were:
MENTAL ILLNESS AND MENTAL HANDICAP South East North West Thames Regions … 4.22 North East South West South East Trent … 2.88 National (England) … 3.55 GERIATRIC BEDS South East North West Thames Regions … 1.21 North East South West South East Trent … 1.15 National (England) … 1.21
Comparisons based upon geographic population are misleading in so far as they take no account of differences in age structure of the population or the extent to which parts of the service are provided across regional boundaries. Hospital bed numbers alone are also not a satisfactory measure of the adequacy of these services.
I am considering the extent to which present methods of allocating resources can be adjusted to make them more responsive to need.