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Mental Hospital Patients (Financial Assets)

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 6 April 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how far his regulations permit the superintendent of a mental hospital in Scotland to assume responsibility for the financial assets of one of his patients and to disburse such assets without court warrant.

It is an established practice for medical superintendents to undertake the disbursement of small sums placed in the custody of hospital authorities, for the benefit of individual mental patients. This is done without formal authority where the medical superintendent is satisfied about the capacity of the individual patient to instruct or consent to the disbursement. My right hon. Friend sees no reason to forbid this practice.