HC Deb 22 October 1984 vol 65 cc518-9W
Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to ensure that no more of the North-East Thames regional hospital authority's allocation for a regional secure psychiatric unit is spent at the private St. Andrew's hospital, Northampton.

Mr. John Patten

All patients who have been sent for care at St. Andrew's hospital, Northampton by the North East Thames regional health authority, have been assessed as in need of in-patient treatment in secure accommodation. In the absence of sufficient secure beds in the region we are satisfied that the use of RSU revenue funds to purchase treatment is an appropriate interim arrangement.

At a meeting between officials of the Department and officers of the North-East Thames regional health authority in May 1984, the region reaffirmed its strategy for psychiatric intensive care facilities, based on three secure units. The region considered that when they became fully available, the beds in the three units were likely to be sufficient for the needs of the region. This will be kept under review. One of these units, at Runwell hospital, Essex, became operational early this year, and it is expected that an interim unit at Friern hospital will become operational in 1985. A permanent unit at Halliwick House, Friern hospital, and a third permanent unit at St. John's hospital, Hackney are envisaged by the end of the 1980s.