asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many investigations the national development team for the mentally handicapped s currently carrying out into mental hospitals; which hospitals are involved; what progress is being made; and if he will make a statement.
So far this year the development team has visited health and social services facilities for mentally handicapped people in West Sussex—including Barnfield, Forest and St. Nicholas hospitals—and in Surrey—including Botley Park, The Manor, and Royal Earlswood hospitals. A further six visits have so far been planned for this year.The development team is not an inspectorate, but offers practical advice to the health and local authorities it visits to enable them to improve the services and facilities they provide for mentally handicapped people and their families. I refer the hon. Member to the two reports. published by the team which describe the scope of its work, its method of operation, and its findings generally. Copies of these reports are in the Library of the House.