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Mentally Ill Persons (West Midlands)

Volume 77: debated on Friday 26 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the number of places which have been available in day centres for the mentally ill in the west midlands region in each year since 1979; what specific assistance he proposes to give to health authorities to enable them to achieve the targets of provision laid down in the 1971 White Paper entitled "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped"; and what additional resources he will allocate in order to effect the recommendations of the recent report of the Social Services Committee on the care of the mentally ill and the mentally handicapped in the community.

Information, relating to 31 March 1984, on the numbers of places in day centres for mentally ill people in each of the local authorities in the west midlands region, is given in the table. Information for previous years is given in the Department's annual publication entitled "Day Centres for the Mentally Ill, the Elderly and the Younger Physically Handicapped — England", copies of which are in the Library.

West Midlands (Local Authorities)

Number of Places

Net Number of Places*

Hereford and Worcester190190

* Includes places made available to local authorities by voluntary and other organisations.

We have asked health authorities to give priority to the development of community based services for people with mental handicap or mental illness from within their existing resources. Progress has been assisted by a number of centrally funded initiatives; £9 million has been made available over four years from 1983–84 to help health authorities with special problems move mentally handicapped children out of long-stay hospitals into more appropriate forms of care. Total joint finance allocations will amount to about £100 million this year.

The Government are still considering the recommendations of the Social Service Committee's report. We expect to provide a full response to the report in May.