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Community Care (Mentally Handicapped People)

Volume 79: debated on Thursday 16 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will list the schemes which his Department directly administers under the heading of community care for (a) the mentally handicapped, (b) the mentally ill and (c) the under-fives;(2) if he will list the total amounts of money spent by his Department on directly administered schemes for

(a) the mentally handicapped, (b) the mentally ill and (c) the under-fives in each year since 1980;

(3) if he will make a statement on the future funding of community care schemes directly administered by his Department for the mentally handicapped, the mentally ill and the under-fives.

I assume the hon. Member is referring to centrally funded initiatives for promoting community care for mentally handicapped and mentally ill people and children under five. The "helping the community to care" and "opportunities for volunteering" schemes include community care for these groups within their wider coverage. Details of centrally funded schemes aimed more particularly at promoting community care for these groups are as follows:

The care in the community programme of pilot projects has been established to explore beneficial and costeffective ways of providing community care for people inappropriately in long-stay hospitals. Twelve mental illness projects and 12 mental handicap projects are each being centrally funded for three financial years, some starting in 1984–85 and the rest in 1985–86. Central funding will amount in total to about £14·6 million.

Under our children's initiative a sum of £9 million has been made available over a period of four years from April 1984 to help health authorities get mentally handicapped children out of long-stay hospitals into more suitable accommodation in the community. So far 30 projects have been approved for central funding under this scheme. Under the same initiative we have also made a total of £1 million available to voluntary organisations over a four-year period for capital expenditure to match, on a pound for pound basis, funds they raise to bring mentally handicapped children out of hospital. So far seven projects have been funded under this scheme.

A total of £6 million of central funds has been made available between 1983 and 1987 to help stimulate the development of comprehensive and integrated local services for elderly mentally ill people. Thirty health districts are benefiting and the funding will help them to set up at least one priority element of the comprehensive range of facilities needed. In all these schemes certral funding is being given on the understanding that the projects launched in this way will continue with local funding when central support ends.

The under-fives initiative is designed to stimulate voluntary sector provision for disadvantaged families with children under five. A total of £6 million has been made available between 1983–84 and 1986–87 and the programme includes 111 service-provided projects managed by 15 voluntary organisations. The continued funding of projects from other sources when central funding ends will depend on a number of factors, including success in meeting objectives, relevence to local needs and support in the community.

The total sums devoted by the Department to these five schemes are as follows. There was no expenditure before 1982–83.

£ thousands

Services for Mentally Handicapped people

Services for Mentally Ill people

Services for Children under 5


* Estimated.