§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what minimum standards exist for long-stay hospitals; when these standards were laid down; whether they are under review; and what steps he has undertaken to enforce these standards.
§ Mrs. Currie
Minimum standards for long-stay hospitals were first laid down in 1969, and other guidance bearing on various aspects of physical standards of provision for long-stay patients was issued between 1979 and 1982. The minimum standards were used by the national development team for people with a mental handicap and by the health advisory service, but there has always been a danger that these standards would be regarded as norms rather than minima. They fall well below current expectations in terms of services for long-stay patients and for this reason are now little used. Local managers are expected to look critically at the operation of services using quantified information, such as Health Service indicators, and using check lists of questions designed to expose poor quality of services.
§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many wards in long-stay hospitals do not meet the 1971 minimum standards of 8ft between bed centres and 70 sq ft of bedroom space per resident; and in which health districts these wards are located;
(2) what proportion of wards of long-stay hospitals in each health region fail to meet the standards of 8ft between bed centres and 70 sq ft of bedroom space per resident.