asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that there are no patients in high security psychiatric hospitals who could be transferred to other National Health Service hospitals or discharged into the community to make room for more urgent cases.
There are some 150 to 200 patients in the four special hospitals—Broadmoor, Rampton, Moss Side and Park Lane—who are considered by their respective responsible medical officers to be suitable for transfer to National Health Service psychiatric hospitals but whom it has not yet been possible to place in an appropriate local hospital.
There are also 28 patients whose discharge is under consideration.
It is not a question of making room for more urgent cases. All cases accepted as falling within the criteria for admission to special hospitals are admitted, despite the overcrowding which often occurs. It is more a question of reducing overcrowding in the special hospitals and not keeping patients unnecessarily under conditions of special security.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to ensure that no mental offender who is declared to be a security risk is denied admission to a high security psychiatric hospital.
Special hospitals are provided under Section 40 of the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 for persons subject to detention under the Mental Health Act 1959 who, in the opinion of the Secretary of State for Social Services, require treatment under conditions of special security on account of their dangerous, violent or criminal propensities. The special security of these hospitals—Broadmoor, Rampton, Moss Side and Park Lane—is of a kind as to deter the determined absconder or to prevent the escape of a patient who would, if at large, present a grave, immediate danger to the public. Each case is considered on its merits and all cases accepted as falling within these criteria are admitted. I am aware that there is sometimes a problem in finding places for patients who require to be treated under conditions of security, although not under conditions of the special security of the special hospitals. As the right hon. Gentleman will be aware, regional health authorities have been asked to make provision for such patients.