HC Deb 10 May 1988 vol 133 cc83-4W
47. Mr. Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the current progress of closure of mental hospitals as part of his policy for community care.

Mrs. Currie

The Government's policy for the care of mentally ill people is based on a shift to district-based services where in-patient care is complemented by care in the community. The aim is to enable mentally ill people to be provided with whatever services they need with the minimum of formality or delay, without losing touch with their normal lives. The reduction in size of some of the old, badly sited mental illness hospitals and the closure of others is a consequence of achieving that aim and not a precursor, and is preceded by the development of psychiatric services in each district which, at present, may lack them.

Details of closure plans were given in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Mr. Goodlad) on 13 April at columns 172–74.