§ Mr. McCrindle
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisifed that there are available on a national basis an adequate number of places for the detention of mentally abnormal offenders; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Mellor
Decisions on how mentally disordered offenders should be dealt with are a matter for the courts, and the provision of hospital places for those detainable under the Mental Health Act 1983 is for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services. The range of facilities in the National Health Service is currently being expanded through the provision of regional secure units; and where the treatment is required under conditions of special security a place in a special hospital can be provided by my right hon. Friend. Difficulties sometimes arise, not least where there may be disagreement concerning a person's clinical condition or the suitability of a hospital placement; where this involves particular cases for which the Home Secretary has responsibilities he and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services together seek to resolve them.