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Mentally Handicapped Persons

Volume 15: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate how many mentally handicapped people he envisages will be taken out of institutions for care in the community when reorganisation occurs; and if he is satisfied that each district has adequate provision for the funding of hostels and sheltered housing in addition to sufficient numbers of health visitors and district nurses to manage the extra surveillance that will fall upon the community medical team or organisation.

While it is not possible to estimate the effects of reorganisation in the way the hon. Member suggests, I am sure the new structure will encourage more local provision for mental handicap. We have made it clear that we expect health and local authorities to include services for mentally handicapped people in their priorities.