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Mental Health Services

Volume 933: debated on Monday 13 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many emergency panels are operating in the mental health sector similar to that recently announced to examine the findings of the Committee of Inquiry into St. Augustine's Hospital;(2) whether he will make a statement on the details of the objectives of the working group set up by him to follow up the recent mental hospital inquiry reports.

An emergency panel was set up by Kent Area Health Authority to consider the findings of the St. Augustine's Hospital Inquiry; and Durham Area Health Authority has set up committees to consider the implications of the recommendations of the Darlington Memorial Hospital Inquiry.My decision to set up a working group to examine the organisational and management problems of mental illness hospitals and units in the light of recent mental hospital enquiry reports was

announced in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Mr. Pavitt) on 31st March.—[Vol. 929 c.

234.] The terms of reference of this working group, which will begin work later this month, are:

"to examine the main problems arising from recent mental hospital enquiry reports and in particular the organisational and management problems of mental illness hospitals and units, in relation both to the new National Health Service structure and to the development of District Services; to examine in relation to mental handicap services those problems and solutions common to mental illness and mental handicap; and to make recommendations".