HC Deb 15 July 1987 vol 119 cc507-8W
Mr. Irving

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what are the diagnostic and other criteria governing the admission and discharge of patients to and from mental hospitals and units in the National Health Service on which the statements in paragraph 13 of his Department's statistical bulletin 4/86 are based;

(2) whether, in the light of the reference in paragraph 29 of the Audit Commission Report, "Making a reality of Community Care", about the existence of much tighter admission criteria for long-stay patients in mental hospitals, if he will make a statement on admission criteria;

(3) what is his policy in the light of paragraph 80 (c) of the Audit Commission Report, "Making a reality of Community Care", towards setting up services for those who do not gain access to long-stay places in mental hospitals under current admission policies.

Mrs. Currie

With the exception of part II of the Mental Health Act 1983 there are no other statutory requirements relating to hospital admissions or discharges. The responsibility of the Secretary of State for such matters is delegated by him to health authorities and it is for the health authority to ensure that there is a clear local agreement on how admissions (including admissions to longer term care) and discharges are handled. Procedures will vary from hospital to hospital and from one locality to another but decisions will normally be taken by the professionals involved and will be a matter of clinical judgment in each individual case.

When the decision taken is not to admit a person to hospital, treatment can be offered instead in a day hospital, or at the person's home. Appropriate medical, nursing, social work and therapy services need to be provided locally to meet the needs of people treated in these settings.