Skip to main content

Geriatric And Psychiatric Beds(North-West Region)

Volume 960: debated on Friday 15 December 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 what steps he is taking to increase the number of geriatric/psychiatric beds in the Mersey and North-West region.

My concern is that comprehensive local services for the elderly and for the mentally ill, including sufficient hospital beds in appropriate locations, should be developed in each district.In my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Crewe (Mrs. Dunwoody) kin 5th December 1978 I set out my Department's general guidance on the rates of provision of beds in different types of hospitals for the elderly and mentally Ill. [Vol. 959, c. 627–8.] I am not specifically seeking an increase in the overall number of beds; as stated in my earlier reply, the detailed assessment of local needs is a matter for the health authorities themselves. In the case of services for the mentally ill, I would expect there to be a continuing decline in total bed numbers, with fewer patients in mental illness hospital and future services increasingly located in general hospitals. The strategic plans published in 1977 by both the Mersey and North-Western regional health authorities set out their proposals for developing comprehensive and integrated local services in accordance with we Department's general policies for the elderly and the mentally ill. The implementation of these proposals has been the subject of discussion between the Department and the two regional health authorities which will be continuing in the context of the revised strategic plans they are to submit this year.