asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the role proposed for non-regional secure unit facilities in the psychiatric assessment of offenders, referred to in the Government response to recommendation 25 of the third report from the Social Services Committee, Session 1985–86, indicating which other facilities it is intended to utilise.
[pursuant to her reply, 1 May 1987, c. 264]: The psychiatric assessment of offenders can be carried out, according to the needs of the individual, within a range of facilities which will include the regional secure units, and other National Health Service hospitals and units offering security appropriate to the individual. These will include facilities which are being developed in some regions as a supplement to permanent RSUs, described as "close supervision" or "intensive care" units which can offer psychiatric care under secure conditions.
The Department has stressed the need for the NHS to provide a comprehensive range of facilities for patients needing varying degrees of security. I am arranging to place in the Library a copy of a letter sent to regional chairmen last autumn which emphasised this requirement it includes a table showing that the NHS had nearly 1,800 beds offering degrees of security.