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Mentally Ill Persons

Volume 934: debated on Tuesday 28 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will detail those research projects that have been commissioned into the effectiveness of the various forms of care provided by local authorities for mentally ill patients discharged from hospital.

My Department is currently funding a wide range of research on the care and after-care of people suffering from mental illness, including those discharged from hospital. Much of this work should increase our knowledge of the effectiveness of different approaches to community-based services. An evaluation of the newly developing pattern of social services for the mentally ill is being carried out as part of the Worcester development project. Different approaches to residential care are being examined at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. The General Practice Research Unit, London, is studying the contribution of local authority social workers to the care of the mentally ill in general practice, and a project to evaluate the use of social workers in the management of cases of attempted suicide is being carried out at the University of Southampton. A pilot study of social work support for chronically mentally ill patients and their families has recently been commissioned at Sheffield University. Other relevant work, using information from psychiatric case registers in various parts of the country is also being funded; and some relevant research work is being sponsored independently. I am writing to the hon. Member with particulars of the projects my Department is financing.