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Hospital Hostels

Volume 130: debated on Monday 28 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what experiments in hospital hostels for discharged mental patients have been conducted in each health region in England and Wales; what lessons have been learnt; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has been associated to some degree with the establishment of three hospital hostels whose work has been subject to careful evaluation; these are in South East Thames, Wessex, and North Western regions. I am aware that in some other regions there are similar hospital hostels, that is accommodation in which a small group of long-stay patients requiring 24-hour medical and nursing supervision are provided with in-patient care in an informal domestic environment.The evaluations have reported encouragingly on the quality of life obtained, and we intend such units to form a permanent part of district pyschiatric services. For this reason, we have funded a series of seminars in different parts of the country designed to spread knowledge, among both psychiatric professional staff and planners, of the best ways of meeting the needs of those people chronically disabled by mental illness who may need long-term inpatient care, whilst avoiding the institutional environment of traditional long-stay wards.