§ Mr. Ernie Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has studied the conclusions of the document "Mentally Handicapped People in Scotland: A Case of Political Neglect" by Area 5 Action Group, a copy of which has been sent to him; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John MacKay
My right hon. Friend has received a copy of this document, but does not accept all its conclusions about community-based provision for the mentally handicapped in Scotland. The report on "Scottish Health Authorities Priorities for the Eighties", which was commended to health boards by my right hon. Friend, gave high priority to the needs of the mentally 407W handicapped and to the need to reduce dependence on hospital provision for such persons. Since the publication of this report there have been significant improvements in the provision of places for the mentally handicapped in community hostels and homes; of adult training centre places; and of houses within the community for the mentally handicapped.