HC Deb 27 July 1981 vol 9 cc344-5W
Mr. Dykes

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress has been made in improving the services provided for the men at Camberwell resettlement unit as a result of the internal review conducted last year.

Mrs. Chalker

The review highlighted the need to achieve better standards of cleanliness, hygiene and catering, to promote the well-being of men who remain in residence at Camberwell for some time, and to make better provision for primary health care. I am pleased to say that a number of changes and improvements have already been made. They include the addition of five more nurses to the staff and the appointment of a nurse with administrative ability to oversee the sick bay. The dormitories have been redecorated and the shelter where people wait for admission has been cleaned and brightened up. A major reflooring scheme has also been carried out in the dining areas and dormitories. Detailed plans for improving the catering and cleaning arrangements are being drawn up by officials in the Department and will be discussed with the trade unions representing the staff at Camberwell.

Where the recommendations required structural work, we are giving priority to providing better nursing and primary health care facilities and improving the sanitary arrangements. We are expecting the conversion of a dormitory to a primary health care ward to be completed shortly and a new incinerator to dispose of surgical dressings and other material is at present being installed. Urgent attention is being given to converting a sick bay to an out-patients department with suitable facilities; upgrading the sick bay toilets and bathing facilities; providing more washing and toilet facilities for the handicapped; and improving the heating in the admissions block bathroom and main bathroom. Bearing in mind all the detailed planning and construction time involved, the completion of these works has been scheduled for February 1982.

Other ways of improving the facilities are still under consideration against the background of the forthcoming closure of Camberwell in 1985.