§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that the rundown and closure of hospitals for the mentally ill does not proceed faster than the establishment of adequate resettlement and community care for the discharged patients; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Dorrell
In a recent circular HC(90)23/ HASSL(90)11, a copy of which is in the Library, health authorities were asked to ensure that any reduction in the number of hospital beds does not outpace the development of alternative community services. The White Paper "Caring for People", states that wewill not approve the closure of any mental hospital unless it can be demonstrated that adequate alternatives have been developed".