HL Deb 12 July 1983 vol 443 cc784-5WA
Lord Mottistone

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the DHSS norms for:

  1. (a) community psychiatric nurses;
  2. (b) social workers trained in psychiatric care;
  3. (c) places in day hospitals and day centres for psychiatric patients;
  4. (d) places in staffed hostels or homes, or unstaffed, but supervised and supported, accommodation for psychiatric patients: and

Whether, where community care for the less disabled is proposed, all DHSS norms (for community psychiatric nurses, for social workers, for places in day hospitals and day centres and for places in staffed hostels or homes, or unstaffed but supervised and supported accommodation) will be met in local authority areas to which patients would be discharged, before any closure of specific psychiatric hospitals takes place.

Lord Glenarthur

There are no norms and we see no practical value in minimum standards set centrally.

The 1975 White Paper, Better Services for theMentally Ill (Cmnd. 6233) contained certain guidelines, on the basis of economic circumstances and developments in alternative ways of providing care.

Provision varies according to local needs, resources and priorities. But despite problems, progress is being made towards a comprehensive psychiatric service based in the community. The allocation of extra funds for joint finance announced by my honourable and learned friend in another place on 14th March 1983 (Official Report, Commons. 14/3/83; Cols. 54–55) under our Care in the Community initiative should further assist progress.

Because of the varying needs, decisions about closures cannot be reached by rule of thumb. When proposals come before my right honourable friend, he will always take into account the adequacy of arrangements made to meet the needs of existing in-patients before reaching a decision.