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Mentally Handicapped Patients (West Midlands)

Volume 986: debated on Monday 16 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate how many mentally handicapped patients at present in long stay hospitals in the West Midlands could be transferred to community care; and if he will make a statement.

It is for the responsible consultant to decide in each individual case when a patient is suitable for discharge and precise statistics are not available. But in this case, I understand that the West Midlands regional health authority has estimated that up to 1,030 such patients could be transferred to community care, although the level of support required would vary considerably and might not currently be available.