§ Mr. Dobson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his Department's estimate of the number of people presently in long-stay hospitals who will cease to be in such hospitals and who will instead be dependent on community care, in the current financial year and each of the next three financial years in each National Health Service region and in total.
§ Mr. John Patten
The rate of discharge of long-stay hospital patients will depend on the progress individual health and local authorities are able to make and meaningful estimates cannot be made centrally. The 13 projects so far approved under the centrally-sponsored programme of Care in the Community pilot projects are expected to result in up to 500 long-stay patients being discharged over the next three years.