HC Deb 12 February 1976 vol 905 cc320-1W
Dr. Reginald Bennett

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the form, scale and purpose of the new interim forensic unit which she is proposing to establish at Knowle Hospital, Fareham; what degree of security this will require beyond that already in force at the hospital; and how she proposes to provide this.

Dr. Owen

The Wessex Regional Health Authority plans to convert existing accommodation to provide a self-contained unit for 16 patients, each having a separate bedroom. The unit will accommodate adult patients suffering from behaviour disorders who may require greater attention and supervision than can be managed in a conventional ward. They will be of a type previously admitted to Knowle Hospital. The unit will include appropriate patients from amongst those requiring admission under order from the courts and on transfer from the special hospitals, so long as they are fit for a unit providing a lower degree of security, and those from other psychiatric hospitals in the region.

The degree of security required for these patients will be achieved largely by a high staff ratio, but the facility also exists to lock the whole unit, as well as some of the individual rooms. Patients going outside the unit for therapy or exercise, will be accompanied by staff.