HC Deb 22 November 1977 vol 939 cc657-8W
33. Mr. Cronin

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to improve staffing arrangements in mental hospitals and hospitals for the mentally subnormal.

Mr. Ennals

It is our policy to devote an increasing proportion of National Health Service resources to improving services for mentally ill and mentally handicapped people, and health authorities are aware of the importance we attach to improving staffing arrangements in mental hospitals. The working group which was set up this year to consider the organisational and management problems of mental illness hospitals will be considering, among other matters, staffing arrangements; and the study which the National Development Group for the Mentally Handicapped is carrying out into how mental handicap hospitals can be improved within existing resources will include consideration of staffing arrangements. The Committee of Enquiry into Mental Handicap Nursing and Care is looking particularly at the staffing of all residential establishments for mentally handicapped people, including hospitals.