asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take to encourage regional health authorities to speed up the provision of regional secure units for the mentally ill.
I shall continue to press for regional secure units and interim facilities to be treated as priorities by all concerned, and thus to build on the slow, but of late more encouraging, progress being made. In this task my Department will seek by all means available to play its full part in helping health authorities to overcome the various problems they face in establishing the programmes.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will detail the progress made by regional health authorities in the provision of regional secure units for the mentally ill and mentally handicapped since 1975, detailing the amounts of money centrally allocated for this purpose; and how much has been spent in each year.
I would refer my hon. Friend to my replies to my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk) on 20 November 1978, 30 November 1978 and 4 December 1978.—[Vol. 958, c. 491; Vol. 959, c. 286–8; Vol. 959, c. 490–2.] The necessary capital funds, estimated at a total of £14 million at 1975 prices, have not been allocated to regional health authorities in advance but are made available to them each year as estimates are approved.
asked the the Secretary of State for Social Services if the £2,419,000 allocated to the North-West Thames and South-West Thames regional health authorities, for the specific purpose of establishing secure psychiatric units for the mentally disordered, will be carried forward to the next financial year without a corresponding cut-back from other items of expenditure.
The £2·419 million quoted by my hon. Friend relates to the total revenue allocated over three years for running regional secure units. In the current financial year North-West Thames and South-West Thames regional health authorities have £482,000 and £406,000 respectively for this purpose: equivalent sums will be included in the 1979–80 revenue allocations. Since the sums are already in the allocations the question of corresponding savings in other expenditure will not arise.