§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to care for psychiatric patients released into the community; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Yeo
We required all district health authorities to implement the care programme approach from 1 April 1991 in collaboration with local social services departments for all psychiatric patients about to be discharged590W into the community. The needs of each patient, both for continuing health and social care and for accommodation, are systematically assessed and appropriate arrangements made. These include the appointment of a key worker to keep in close touch with the patient and to monitor that the agreed health and social care is given. If an adequate package of care cannot be agreed and provided in the community, the patient must be offered alternative in-patient care.
We are also paying the mental illness specific grant to local authorities to enable them to improve the social care they provide for mentally ill people. The grant amounts to £31.4 million in 1992–93 supporting expenditure of £44.8 million. Next year, 1993–94, the grant will be £34.4 million supporting expenditure of £46.6 million, an increase of 9 per cent.
The Department's social services inspectorate is monitoring the impact of the mental illness specific grant and its first report has been issued.