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Alcoholism

Volume 885: debated on Tuesday 28 January 1975

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48.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will make a statement about the progress of her plans to set up an advisory committee on alcoholism.

As I told my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Mr. KilroySilk) on 24th January.—[Vol. 884, c. 526–7.]—I hope to be able to announce the membership of the advisory committee on alcoholism very soon.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) when the four special treatment centres for alcoholics promised by the last Government will be set up;

(2) when a detoxification centre for alcoholics will be set up in Birmingham to serve the West Midlands.

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the experimental detoxification centres recommended in the report of the Home Office Working Party on Habitual Drunken Offenders. A centre is being built at Withington Hospital, Manchester and is expected to open in 1976. Plans are being discussed for a centre in Birmingham to serve the area of the West Midlands Regional Health Authority, but it is not possible to say when this may be in operation. Two working groups are considering the possible establishment of centres in East and South-East London.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will set up an advisory committee on alcoholism.

I announced the decision to set up the committee and the appointment of the chairman on 18th September 1974. I very much regret the delay in establishing the committee. Invitations were sent on the same day to a wide range of professional and voluntary bodies, local authority associations and other groups seeking suggestions for membership. Some, I regret, have only recently replied and this has held up the appointment of members, but invitations are expected to be sent out shortly.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will set up a working party to determine the needs of Great Britain's homeless alcoholics in terms of beds and supporting hostels.

I announced the decision to set up the committee and the appointment of the chairman on 18th September 1974. I very much regret the delay in establishing the committee. Invitations were sent on the same day to a wide range of professional and voluntary bodies, local authority associations and other groups seeking suggestions for membership. Some, I regret, have only recently replied and this has held up the appointment of members, but invitations are expected to be sent out shortly.In addition to providing advice on the general development of services for alcoholics in England and Wales, the Advisory Committee on Alcoholism will have a special responsibility, to be exercised through a sub-group, of promoting the development of services for homeless alcoholics.