§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on her policy on the provision of long-term hospital and hostel places for schizophrenia sufferers; and on what basis the number of hospital beds and hostel places has been calculated.
§ Mr. Yeo
The Government recognise that there will continue to be a number of patients suffering from schizophrenia who will require sanctuary or long-term asylum. The national health service's responsibilities for providing continuing care have been clearly set out in the White Paper "Caring for People" and strongly re-iterated last year in letters to regional health authorities and social services departments from the deputy chief executive of the national health service management executive and the chief inspector of social services.
The form this continuing care should take and the number of places provided is a matter for local decision. Under the terms of the White Paper it is the responsibility of each health authority to agree with the relevant local 609W authorities the level of continuing care it proposes to provide or arrange for its own population so that health and local authority plans are compatible and comprehensive. Authorities should then publish their proposals as part of the local authority community care plans.