§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will ensure that the regional organisations of the Mental Health Act Commission will treat Wales as a unit for the purpose of its work and not divide Wales up under adjacent regions of England.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
The Mental Health Act Commisssion will serve England and Wales and appointments to it will be made jointly by my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Wales and the Secretary of State for Social Services. The principal functions of the commission will be in respect of people detained under the provisions of mental health legislation. At 31 December 1981 there were 227 people so detained in Wales, compared with a total of some 7,000 in England and Wales. It is proposed that the commission should have a chairman and a multidisciplinary membership of 70, that it should have a central committee and three regional panels. One of the panels would serve Clwyd, Gwynedd, Powys and the north-west of England; another the rest of Wales and the south of England.
For each of the relevant disciplines, members from Wales will be appointed to the panels operating in Wales and each of these two panels will include at least one member who is proficient in the use of the Welsh language.
The Government believe that these proposals are the most effective and efficient way of organising the commission's work.