HC Deb 24 October 1986 vol 102 cc997-8W
Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he has received the Health Advisory Service's report on services for mentally ill people in Gwynedd; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

Yes. I fully recognise that the HAS report on services for mentally ill people in Gwynedd identifies many real problems and deficiencies which must be tackled. I am aware that both the Gwynedd district health authority and the county council's social services department accept the thrust of the report and the need for urgent action. They have already produced a consultative document setting out their strategy for adult mental health services in Gwynedd. I commend them for the promptness of their response. The development of locally based mental illness services is a complex process requiring the close cooperation of a number of authorities, including the county council, voluntary bodies and professionals from a number of disciplines.

I have decided in view of the relevance of the issues raised for the whole of Wales that a consultation paper should be prepared setting out the ways in which services for those who are suffering from mental illness can be further developed and improved. With regard to the response which is required locally, the Gwynedd and Clwyd district health authorities and the social services departments of the representative county councils have formed a joint planning team to plan the development of mental illness services in North Wales and this group will consider amongst other things the future of Gwynedd residents at North Wales hospital, Denbigh. Arrangements for these patients are the subject of major criticism in the report and a specific area in which HAS considers that my Department has a role to play. Officials of my Department will be in touch with the authorities in north Wales to review the plans and arrangements that they have already set in hand as well as to consider any further action that may be required.

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