§ 28. Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people are currently in psychiatric institutions; what was the comparable figure six years ago; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Currie
On 31 December 1986, the latest year for which figures are available, there were 60,279 patients resident in National Health Service mental illness hospitals and units in England. The corresponding figure for 1980 was 74,831. These figures include those people admitted for short-term treatment and respite care.
It is estimated that the 14,500 net drop in residents is accounted for by decreases due to 24,000 people discharged and 32,500 deaths, and increases due to 42,000 new patients during the period 1981–86.
In 1986 although the number of in-patients in National Health Service illness hospitals and units in England was around 60,000, there were over 70,000 available staffed beds. As a result of better methods of treatment and modern practice, far fewer people need to be cared for as long-term in-patients.