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Mentally Handicapped Persons

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will make a statement on the implementation of the proposals in the document "Services for the Mentally Handicapped in Northern Ireland: Policy and Objectives".

This document was published on 11th July 1978 following 18 months of consultations with a wide range of interests throughout Northern Ireland. It stresses the importance of prevention and early detection of mental handicap and emphasises the need to give every mentally handicapped person the opportunity to live as normal a life as possible in the community.The document outlines a programme of capital investment of £7·1 million over the next five years with an annual running cost, at the end of the period, of £3·7 million. This is designated to redress the present imbalance in services, improve existing services and provide more places in adult training centres and residential homes.Work has already started on implementing the proposals and there will be continuing consultations with health and social services boards, voluntary bodies and other interests to ensure that they are carried forward with all possible speed.