§ Miss Fookes
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in special hospitals are currently awaiting transfer to other National Health Service hospitals; and how many of these have been waiting for(a) one to two years, (b) two to three years, (c) three to four years, and (d) over four years.
§ Mr. Freeman
There are 47 patients in the special hospitals who have been recommended for a move to another hospital on trial leave or transfer and who are currently awaiting a vacancy in an identified hospital. Of these, four patients have been waiting for one to two years, and two patients for two to three years; none have been waiting for longer than three years. The length of wait has been calculated:
- (i) in the case of patients subject to restrictions under the Mental Health Act, from the date on which the Home Secretary's consent to transfer was obtained, and
- (ii) in the case of unrestricted patients, from the date on which a placement was agreed between the special hospital and the receiving hospital.