HC Deb 29 June 1979 vol 969 cc359-61W
Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied as to the present arrangements over admission of mental patients to hospitals; whether he is satisfied that decisions as to admissions are made by medical officers

statutes. The Clyde Port Authority controls the river and Firth of Clyde, including the sea lochs, from central Glasgow down to Arran. Within its area, navigation and other shipping activities are under the jurisdiction of the port authority and its harbourmaster, who has extensive regulatory powers under general and local legislation. Oil cargo transfers which have taken place between tankers on the Clyde have been strictly controlled in accordance with the lightening code issued by the International Chamber of Shipping and the oil companies' international marine forum and, at the insistence of the harbourmaster, only ships equipped with the inert gas system and with licensed Clyde pilots on board have been handled. All transfers have taken place at approved anchorages. The number of such transfers recorded over the last six complete years and during 1979 up to the present are:

health authority at the most recent convenient stated date compared with the figures at the same date in the three previous years.

Dr. Vaughan

The number of patients on in-patient waiting lists in the Newham health district as at 31 December for the years 1975 to 1978, by surgical specialty, is shown in the following table:

and not by charge nurses; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young

Most admissions of mentally ill people are informal or under part IV of the Mental Health Act 1959 and difficulty rarely arises. But with a small minority of those considered for these two types of admission, and a larger proportion of offenders considered for admission under part V of the Mental Health Act, the situation arises when hospital staff agree that a patient requires hospital care, but consider that their own hospital is unable to admit because it cannot provide the care needed. I am concerned about the deficiency in the NHS that this implies. The consultant has traditionally been taken to express the decision of the hospital managers as to admission, but it is often appropriate for the professionl opinion of the nursing staff to be taken into account.