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Mental Hospitals

Volume 885: debated on Wednesday 5 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many mental hospitals in England and Wales have lost their psychiatric division since the implementation of the criterion of 1,000 beds for divisional status;(2) if she will review the general criteria set out in HM(71)96 for establishing divisional status of mental hospitals.

The 1,000 bed criterion was introduced in 1971 when nursing was being organised into divisions following the recommendations of the Committee on Senior Nursing Staff Structures—the Salmon Committee. The criterion was derived from experience of early schemes but was not applied to those Salmon structures which had already been established. There is no readily available information about changes in status which may have occurred through subsequent changes in size or structure of divisions.The criteria in the Department's memorandum HM(71)96, including the minimum beddage, are being used provisionally as a guide in the new nurse management structures to indicate whether prima facie the grade of divisional nursing officer is justified in a particular specialty. The criteria are already under review.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the reports of Hospital Advisory Service teams of their second visits to mental hospitals are published.

Reports of the Hospital Advisory Service on its visits to individual hospitals in England are made to the Secretary of State for Social Services and are not published. But the annual report of the Hospital Advisory Service to the Secretary of State for Social Services and the Secretary of State for Wales is published and copies are available from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.