§ Dr. Roger Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that persons who care for schizophrenic patients living at home are given sufficient information about back-up services, including the availability of hospitalisation when the need arises.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Our policy is that appropriate health and personal social services should be available to support those who care for schizophrenia patients and other psychiatric patients living at home. The White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Ill" (Cmnd. 6233) emphasised that the hallmark of a good service for the mentally ill was a high degree of local co-ordination, and that patients and their families should be encouraged wherever possible to discuss with professional staff involved the various needs and the ways in which these might be met. This would include the question of552W admission to hospital when the need arises. We regard this as an important part of the work of professional staff. Voluntary bodies, too, can often play an important part, both in direct support of relatives and in developing local liason so that health and social services give closer support.