Skip to main content

Mentally Handicapped Persons

Volume 951: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1978

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many local authorities are on target for residential places for mentally handicapped children as set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped".

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many local authorities are on target for facilities for mentally handicapped people as set out in "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped" (a) for adult training centre places and (b) for residential provision.

"Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped" suggested a pattern of services and guidelines of provision to be achieved nationally by the early 1990s but did not envisage a uniform rate of change in each individual local authority. The starting point of the level of local services in being when the White Paper was issued differ from one authority to another. Local authority boundary changes since publication of the White Paper also limit the extent to which comparisons can be made. At 31st March 1977 the number of available places nationally was:—

Adult Training Centres37,800
Residential places for Children2,200
Residential places for Adults11,700
In the case of provision for adults, these figures represent a growth rate in the six years since publication of the White Paper, which would be more than sufficient, if continued, to reach the targets by 1991. The figure for children, however, represents a lower growth rate. I have expressed my concern about this and have urged authorities to give such provision much higher priority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many beds are currently available for elderly mentally infirm people in hospitals other than specialist psychiatric hospitals.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current weekly cost per resident for a local authority hostel for adult mentally handicapped people.

The estimated average weekly cost in 1977–78 in England was £45·07. This figure, which excludes capital charges and central administrative costs, is the latest available, and is derived from the Social Services Statistics Estimates for that year, published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, a copy of which is in the Library.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been made in the area of Trent Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;(2) what improvements have been made in the Trent Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;(3) what steps have been taken in the Trent Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been made in the area of North West Thames Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;(2) what improvements have been made in the North West Thames Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;(3) what steps have been made in the area of South East Thames Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;(4) what improvements have been made in the South East Thames Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;

(5) what steps have been taken in the area of South West Thames Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;

(6) what improvements have been made in the South West Thames Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;

(7) what steps have been made in the area of North East Thames Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;

(8) what improvements have been made in the North East Thames Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;

(9) what steps have been taken in the Oxford Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been made in the area of Oxford Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;(2) what improvements have been made in the Oxford Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been made in the area of Wessex Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;(2) what improvements have been made in the Wessex Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;(3) what steps have been taken in the Wessex Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family;(4) what steps have been made in the area of South Western Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;(5) what improvements have been made in the South Western Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;(6) what steps have been taken in the South-Western Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been made in the area of West Midlands Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;

(2) what improvements have been made in the West Midlands Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been made in the area of East Anglia Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;(2) what improvements have been made in the East Anglia Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been taken in the area of Yorkshire Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently hospitalised and increase the number living at home;(2) what improvements have been made in the Yorkshire Regional Health Authority area in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;(3) what steps have been taken in the Yorkshire Regional Health Authority to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been made in the area of Northern Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently hos- pitalised and increase the number living at home;(2) what improvements have been made in the Northern Regional Health Authority area in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;(3) what steps have been taken in the Northern Regional Health Authority to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been taken in the South West Thames Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family;(2) what steps have been taken in the South East Thames Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps have been taken in the East Anglia Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give the family a rest.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps have been taken in the North West Thames Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps have been taken in the North East Thames Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been made in the area of Mersey Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;(2) what improvements have been made in the Mersey Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home;(3) what steps have been taken in the Mersey Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home, in order to help the family in crisis or sickness, or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what steps have been made in the area of North Western Regional Health Authority in the past year to improve the provision of day care facilities and short-stay care accommodation for the mentally handicapped over the age of 16 years in order to reduce the number of these children permanently living at hospital and increase the number living at home;(2) what improvements have been made in the North Western Regional Health Authority in provision of supportive help available to the families caring for mentally handicapped children and adults at home.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps have been taken in the West Midlands Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps have been taken in the North Western Regional Health Authority area to improve the provision of short-term care facilities for the mentally handicapped normally living at home in order to help the family in crisis, sickness or to give a rest to the family.

It has not been possible to assemble the information requested in the time available, and I will write to the hon. Members about the situation in each region. My Department has consistently stressed the need to improve all aspects of services for the mentally handicapped and in particular those which enable a family to continue caring for a mentally handicapped relative at home and those which reduce the numbers having to live in hospital solely because no alternative provision is available.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total number of local authority residential places for mentally handicapped children in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977.

The number of places in England available in local authority residential accommodation for mentally handicapped children at 31st March in the years 1974 to 1977 was as follows:—

19741,753
19751,801
19761,995
19772,159
The figures quoted include places made available to local authorities by other organisations.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to publish the report from the Committee of Inquiry into Care and Treatment of Mentally Handicapped People.

I expect to receive the report of the committee of inquiry into mental handicap nursing and care later this year and hope to publish it as soon as possible thereafter.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what criteria are being applied to ensure that the mobility allowance is available to people incapacitated by mental handicap and who are unable to go out without special transport being provided.

Mobility allowance is designed for severely disabled people aged five to pensionable age who are unable, or virtually unable, to walk because of physical disablement and who are likely to remain so for at least 12 months. Mentally handicapped people who are within the appropriate age-limits and can satisfy the medical conditions should already be eligible for the allowance.We intend to lay regulations before Parliament to clarify the position. There are, however, no present plans to cover those who can walk, whatever their incapacity, but who have other mobility problems.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total number of places in local authority training centres for the mentally handicapped in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977.

The number of places available in England in adult training centres for mentally handicapped people at 31st March in the years 1974 to 1977 was as fallows:

197431,598
197534,156
197635,530
197737,824
The figures quoted include places made available to local authorities by other organisations.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total number of places in local authority residential accommodation for the adult mentally handicapped in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977.

The number of places in England available in local authority residential accommodation for adult mentally handicapped people at 31st March in the years 1974 to 1977 was as follows:

19747,823
19759,145
197610,377
197711,740
The figures quoted include places made available to local authorities by other organisations.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of Northern Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of Yorkshire Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of Trent Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of East Anglia Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of North West Thames Regional Health Authority;(2) if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of North East Thames Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of South East Thames Regional Health Authority;(2) if he accepts the need for provision of funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of the South East and Oxford Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of South West Thames Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement in the availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of Wessex Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need for provision of funds to enable the improvement of availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of Wales and the South Western Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need for provision of funds to enable the improvement of availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of West Midlands Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need for provision of funds to enable the improvement of availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of Mersey Regional Health Authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the need to provide funds to enable the improvement of availability of day centres for the mentally handicapped in the area of the North Western Regional Health Authority.

I fully accept the need to provide funds to improve day services for the mentally handicapped in all parts of England. I have made clear in successive priorities documents the importance I attach to the growth of these services, and local authorities have responded by increasing the number of places from 32,000 in 1974 to 37,900 in 1977. These improvements are welcome, but many more places are still needed, and I shall continue to lay stress on this in planning guidance. Joint financing has provided a valuable additional source of funds for this purpose, and I am particularly pleased that a number of authorities have made use of joint finance to include in their adult training centre provision special care units for the most severely handicapped.The services in Wales are a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the Northern Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the rate necessary to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the Yorkshire Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the rate necessary to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped" particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the West Midlands Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the rate necessary to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the East Anglia Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the North West Thames Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families;(2) if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the South West Thames Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families;(3) if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the South East Thames Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the North East Thames Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the Trent Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the Wessex Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families;

(2) if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the Oxford Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the South Western Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the North Western Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped living with their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the growth of local authority services in the Mersey Regional Health Authority is being maintained at the necessary rate to achieve the targets set out in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped", particularly in the field of training services for the mentally handicapped people living with their families.

The planning guidelines set out in the 1971 White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped" suggested levels of provision to be reached nationally over the next 20 years. Progress made so far towards achieving those levels is reasonably satisfactory in the main, except in the case of residential provision for children which has, with some local exceptions, been developing far too slowly.The following table indicates, by health authority regions, the level of residential and adult training centre provision available to local authorities at 31st March

Number of residential places for the mentally handicapped in homes and hostels and Adult Training Centre places (including special care

Residential places for children Rate per 100,000 total

Places for adults

Residential Rate per 100,000 total

ATC.s Rate per 100,000 total

Health Authority Regions

population

population

population

Northern2·217·999·0
Yorkshire2·819·678·9
Trent1·618·0101·9
East Anglia5·822·280·8
North West Thames9·037·164·1
North East Thames5·626·175·5
South East Thames7·029·672·7
South West Thames4·624·867·8
Wessex3·428·389·9
Oxford4·023·175·7
South Western1·821·871·4
West Midlands4·717·177·9
Mersey3·730·1107·6
North Western8·440·760·8
England—19774·725·381·5
England—Early 1990s10·060·0150·1

Source: S.S.A. 107.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what provision exists in the North East Thames Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff require ing the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels;(2) what provision exists in East Anglia Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what provision exists in the Trent Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what provision exists in the South East Thames Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to meet the necessary support for 1977, compared with the national guidelines.

units), available to local authorities at 31st March 1977

the needs of the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels;

(2) what provision exists in South West Thames Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what provision exists in Wessex Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels;(2) what provision exists in South Western Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what provision exists in the Oxford Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what provision exists in West Midlands Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what provision exists in the North West Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what provision exists in Yorkshire Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what provision exists in the Northern Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what provision exists in the Mersey Regional Health Authority area for training the additional specialised staff required to supply the necessary support for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill living at home or in hostels.

A wide range of different groups of staff provide support to mentally handicapped and mentally ill people living at home or in hostels. These groups receive basic and post-basic professional training under the aegis of their professional training bodies, and in addition may attend a variety of nationally and locally available training courses, seminars, workshops, conferences and other activities designed to develop their skills and knowledge. It would not be meaningful to attempt to list this wide range of training activities on a regional basis, since such training is not organised in this way.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many places there were in group homes for the mentally handicapped in 1975, 1976 and 1977.

The number of places available in England for mentally handicapped people in local authority unstaffed homes and hostels at 31st March in the years 1975 to 1977 was as follows: 1975, 171; 1976, 347; 1977, 548.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to make it clear that the Act applies, where appropriate, as much to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people as to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to make it clear that the Act applies, where appropriate, as much to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people as to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to make it clear that the Act applies, where appropriate, as much to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people as to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to make it clear that the Act applies, where appropriate, as much to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people as to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to make it clear that the Act applies, where appropriate, as much to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people as to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to demonstrate that the Act applies, where appropriate, to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people and to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to demonstrate that the Act applies, where appropriate, to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people and to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to demonstrate that the Act applies, where appropriate, to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people and to those who are physically handicapped.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to demonstrate that the Act applies, where appropriate, to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people and to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to demonstrate that the Act applies, where appropriate, to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people and to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to demonstrate that the Act applies, where appropriate, to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people and to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to demonstrate that the Act applies, where appropriate, to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people and to those who are physically disabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now use the provisions of Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act to demonstrate that the Act applies, where appropriate, to mentally ill and mentally handicapped people and to those who are physically disabled.

I welcome the opportunity provided by these Questions to make it clear that mentally ill and mentally handicapped people are already covered by the Act. The suggestion of using regulations under Section 28 of the Act to bring this fact home is an attractive one and is being explored; but the position is more complex than may appear at first sight. Such regulations could not affect Sections 1 and 2 of the Act, since these do not contain any of the expressions referred to in Section 28. As soon as I have decided what is best, I will let my hon. Friends and the hon. Members have a further reply. Meanwhile, I shall welcome the widest possible publicity for the fact that the Act does apply, wherever appropriate, as much to the mentally ill and the mentally handicapped as to people who are physically disabled.