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Mentally Handicapped People (Community Village Development)

Volume 129: debated on Thursday 10 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on his policy towards the concept of community village development on suitable hospital sites where facilities for the mentally handicapped already exist, along the lines of the Westwood hospital in Bradford, South, and which is outlined in the document submitted to him by the Westwood Hospital Staff and Parents Action Committee.

Any development of village communities for mentally handicapped people on existing hospital sites is a matter for the health and local authorities concerned. In considering proposals on these lines, and in consultation with hospital residents and their families, I have no doubt they will take account of all the factors involved, including the need to avoid the establishment of inward-looking institutions where the residents are isolated from the community, which we recognised in our own statement of policy in paragraph 51 of the Government's response to the report of the Social Services Committee on community care. (Cmnd. 9674).