§ Mr. Bowis
The report, "The Homeless Mentally Ill Initiative—An Evaluation of Four Clinical Teams", is being published today and copies are available in the Library. I am grateful to Professor Craig and his colleagues for their work.427W
The homeless mentally ill initiative, organised by the Department of Health in collaboration with the Mental Health Foundation, was launched in 1990. It provides multidisciplinary community mental health teams to identify homeless mentally ill people in London who are not already in touch with statutory services. The teams assess clients' needs, provide medical and social support, and refer them to appropriate statutory services. The initiative also provides specialist hostels with a high level of care which meets immediate housing needs and offers rehabilitation before clients move on to more permanent accommodation. There is also provision of supported move-on accommodation with capital funding from the Housing Corporation.
The Government have invested over £20 million in this initiative. The five outreach teams, the eight hostels with two more to come and the move-on supported accommodation that is beginning to come on stream have begun to transform lives. It is estimated that between October 1994 and March 1995 about 115 people were rehoused, either into the specialist high care hostels or into permanent accommodation.
The report acknowledges the need for multidisciplinary outreach teams and comments favourably on the high level of direct client interaction that they have been able to attain. It also comments on the positive view taken of the teams by the majority of agencies with which they work.
Professor Craig's report contains a number of recommendations. We shall be studying these in detail and considering what action can be taken to build on the successes that he has identified.