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Prestwich Hospital

Volume 951: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what efforts are being made to end the industrial disputes at the Prestwich Hospital interim secure unit.

In the light of the problems being encountered in this interim secure unit, the North Western Regional Health Authority asked last August for the advice of the Regional Secure Units Working Group which was set up last year to act as a source of practical help and advice in overcoming difficulties in the setting up of secure units. Following a visit to Prestwich Hospital and the unit, the group, which includes six nominees of the Trades Union Congress, made a number of recommendations which it thought would assist. The health authorities concerned accepted the recommendations relevant to them and in consequence meetings have been held between the area health authority and local officials of the National Union of Public Employees. In the course of these discussions some further matters involving national policy were raised by the local branch officials. My Department is seeking to clarify the view of the NUPE on these matters and will, if necessary, be arranging further discussions with NUPE and the other unions concerned.