§ Mr. Alton
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will study the publication "Forgotten Children" published by North-West MIND; and, in view of the confusion which exists on the subject, if he will issue the draft circular on inappropriate admission of children into long-stay hospitals which was originally issued for consultation in June 1978.
§ Sir George Young
I have just received a copy of this publication, which I shall read with interest.
The draft circular to which the hon. Member refers was prepared and circulated for comment by the previous Administration over two years ago and I do not consider it appropriate or necessary to issue it now. The number of children being admitted to mental handicap hospitals for long-term care is now extremely small and my personal concern is to find ways of helping to get out of such hospitals children who do not need to be there.