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Broadmoor Hospital

Volume 976: debated on Wednesday 16 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in what ways the guidelines on seclusion recently put into operation at Broadmoor hospital change previous practice at the hospital; and whether the rooms used to accommodate secluded patients are the same as those used prior to the implementation of those guidelines.

The main effect of the guidelines is to clarify previously unwritten practises rather than to introduce changes. They cover the following aspects: —

—definition of seclusion, standards for the room used, clothing and amenities which may be provided, toilet and exercise arrangements.
—arrangements for notifying senior staff and for drawing up a programme of care.
—records to be kept and reporting arrangements.
Two single rooms in Somerset House which were the subject of criticism by the European Commission on Human Rights are now no longer used for patient care and the main hospital facility for special care has since been transferred from Somerset House to Norfolk House. Patients may, however, be secluded in any of the single room sin use for patient accommodation.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the patient population of Broadmoor at the end of each of the last five years; what is the population now; and when he expects that there will be no overcrowding at the hospital.

The information is as follows:

The population at 11 January 1980 was 721.

It is not possible to forecast with accuracy when the overcrowding at Broadmoor will cease, since there are many possible factors which could affect the situation. It is hoped that the number of patients there will diminish as the the building of the Park Lane hospital progresses and admissions there increase.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many fires have occurred at Broadmoor in the last five years; what was the extent of the damage in each case; and what have been the implications of the fire which occurred on 29 November 1979 for the accommodation of the patients.

Five fires have occurred in Broadmoor hospital during the last five years. Three were relatively minor, causing little or no damage to patient accommodation. A more serious fire in May 1974 gutted a patients' day room and caused considerable smoke damage to the walls of corridors and some sleeping accommodation. In the fire on 29 November 1979 a small store room was gutted, a portion of the roof above the store room was damaged and there was smoke damage to the walls of adjacent corridors, single bedrooms and day rooms. It was necessary to provide alternative sleeping accommodation for three patients for two nights and alternative dining accommodation for about 20 patients for three weeks.