HC Deb 02 March 1994 vol 238 cc759-60W
Sir Thomas Arnold

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultations she is holding with the Royal College of Psychiatrists about the release of psychiatric patients with a history of violent behaviour under the care in the community programme; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Bowis

The royal college, and other professional bodies, have been fully consulted about the steps we have taken to ensure that psychiatric patients are not discharged from hospital before they are ready to leave and that they are cared for safely, whether in hospital or the community. These steps include the proposed new power of supervised

Dr. Mawhinney

The table shows the total number of operational national health service trusts in each region in each year since 1991–92. The information required to calculate these figures as a percentage of the total number of health provider units is not available centrally for the years 1991–92 to 1993–94. The information for 1994–95 is shown in the table.

discharge, new guidance on the discharge of mentally disordered people from hospital and their continuing care in the community, and the introduction of supervision registers for people with severe mental illness who may present a significant risk to themselves or others.

We shall be bringing forward legislation to introduce supervised discharge at the earliest opportunity. The new guidance on the discharge and continuing care of mentally disordered people was circulated for consultation in January and will be issued in definitive form as soon as we have taken account of the comments received, and of the relevant recommendations of the Ritchie inquiry. Separate guidance issued on 16 February, HSG(94)5, requires health authorities to have contracts in force by 1 April 1994 which ensure that supervision registers are established and maintained.

We remain in close contact with the college on these and related matters.

Forward to