§ Mr. Stan Thorne
asked the Paymaster General what vocational provisions are being made for the mentally ill and mentally handicapped following the Goverment's programme of closing down large institutions and establishing community services for these groups.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
A flexible range of assistance is available through the Manpower Services Commission to all disabled people, including the mentally ill and mentally handicapped. Eligibility for particular types of assistande depends on the circumstances of the individual. No programmes have been developed specifically to meet the closure of particular institutions, but local resettlement services, available through jobcentres, seek to help to meet local needs.
Employment rehabilitation centres and Asset (assistance towards employment) teams provide rehabilitation for mentally ill and mentally handicapped people. Further work is in hand to improve such provision for this group. An increasing number of places are becoming available under the sheltered employment programme for those not able to work in open employment.