HC Deb 17 January 1984 vol 52 cc203-4W
Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement about the handling of the report of the national development team for mentally handicapped people.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The consultation document proposes that the national development team should in future routinely publish summaries of its main conclusions and recommendations following its visits to health and local authorities; and that full reports which follow a few months later should normally be published by the authorities concerned.

I know that there is great public interest in the provision of local services for the mentally handicapped. The parents and relatives of mentally handicapped people have a particularly strong and legitimate concern for the welfare of their families. I can see no reason why relatives and the general public should not have the benefit of seeing the advice which authorities have commissioned on their services. I am sure that publication of reports will also help to promote a better understanding of what is involved in the shift from institutional to community care and will show what progress is being made in the development of better locally based services for the mentally handicapped.

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