HC Deb 17 March 1976 vol 907 cc545-6W
Mr. Rooker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what appointments have now been made to the development team for the mentally handicapped; and whether she will make a statement.

Mrs. Castle

Dr. G. B. Simon, MB, ChB, FRC Psych, who is at present consultant psychiatrist at Lea and Lea Castle Hospitals near Kidderminster, has been appointed as director of the team. Dr. Simon is a member of the National Development Group for the Mentally Handicapped and also Director of the Institute of Mental Subnormality.

Since the development team will be concerned with all services for mentally handicapped people whether provided by the National Health Service or by personal saocial service departments of local authorities, it is right that the management structure of the team should include an appropriately wide spread of professional interest.

I therefore intend to appoint, to assist Dr. Simon, three associate directors. They will be Mr. T. H. Margetts, formerly Senior Nursing Officer, Church Hill House Hospital; Mr. Dudley Love, at present Director of Education, Solihull; and Miss E. M. Phillips, seconded from the Bristol office of the Social Work Service of my Department.

I consulted widely on my proposal to establish a development team for mental handicap and on my intention that a main activity of the team would be to provide advice to NHS and local authorities on the future planning of services, operating in close contact with joint consultative committees. As a result, I have decided that the team should visit authorities only by their invitation and should always provide a written report, including any recommendations for service development, to the authority. The development team is a novel agency and I have, therefore, thought it right to agree to review its operation after 12 months' full activity. The team's method of operation will also be discussed with interested bodies after one or two exercises have been completed.

Some review of long-stay children in mental handicap hospitals is necessary and we are considering the best way of covering this, to avoid overlap between the Hospital Advisory Service and the development team.

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