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Volume 115: debated on Thursday 7 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied. in the light of the number of patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia readmitted to hospital in 1985, that appropriate support facilities were available for these patients after initial discharge and that clinicians had confirmed their availability before discharge.

Many patients with schizophrenia have periods of good health interrupted by recurrent attacks. For this reason it is always likely to be the case that the number of admissions over a patient's lifetime — and therefore the ratio of readmissions to first admissions nationally—is higher with schizophrenia than with most other mental illnesses. We accept that good quality support to the patient when at home can reduce the number of recurrences. Research studies have shown that in many places the quality of support is patchy and we shall not be satisfied until we know that good support is on offer everywhere. In particular we have been emphasising the importance of the professional team agreeing an individual care plan with the patient and carers at the time of discharge.