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Mentally Handicapped People

Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons have been discharged from long-stay mental illness and mental handicap institutions since 1978–79; and into what forms of care and in what numbers these persons have been discharged.

I regret that I am unable to give the hon. Member the exact information requested. Information on discharges of people from mental illness and mental handicap hospitals since 1978 is given in statistical bulletins 2/2/88 ("Mental Illness Hospitals and Units in England: Results of the Mental Health Enquiry 1986") and 2/3/88 (for mental handicap hospitals and units). These bulletins are in the Library.

Table 1 of both publications gives the total numbers of discharges, and figure 6 of bulletin 2/2/88 and figure 4 of bulletin 2/3/88 show an indication of the number of people discharged after, in effect, living in the hospital. Some people may require to be readmitted depending on their circumstances.

Central information cannot trace people out into the community after discharge from hospital, but I am placing in the Library a research register prepared by "Good Practices in Mental Health" which includes a number of studies of particular areas with relevant information.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will provide figures for each year from 1978–79 to 1986–87 showing (a) the numbers of mentally handicapped children leaving education, and the numbers of mentally handicapped people discharged from residential care, and (b) the corresponding trends in provision of day care services for mentally handicapped persons over the same period.

Information requested at (a) is not available centrally. The following tables give information on (b).

Table 1 Adult training centres for mentally handicapped people England 1979 to 1987
Centres/UnitsPlaces
197944542,061
198045142,337
198146143,627
198247445,152
198348446,558
198449647,464
198550548,824
198652750,374
198753351,198

Notes:

1. The above includes adult training centres plus independent special needs units.

2. All figures as at 31 March.

Table 2 NHS day care for mentally handicapped people England 1978 to 1986

Year

Attendances

1978295,033
1979333,735
1980372,678
1981379,962
1982379,639
1983369,459
1984348,719
1985404,176
1986453,667

Further information on adult training centres and special needs units is published in "Adult Training Centres for Mentally Handicapped People and Day Centres for Mentally Ill, Elderly and Younger Physically Handicapped People at 31 March 1986", copies of which have been placed in the Library.