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Mental Hospitals

Volume 130: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will list the mental hospitals which are scheduled to (a) open and (b) close in Scotland in each of the next seven years;(2) how many residential places in the community will be provided for those discharged from mental hospitals in Scotland in each of the next seven years;(3) how many new mental hospital beds have been opened in Scotland in each of the last 10 years;(4) how many mental hospital beds have been closed in Scotland in each of the last 10 years.

It is our general policy that mentally ill people capable of living in the community should have the opportunity of doing so, but it is important that discharges from hospital should not take place before appropriate community provision is available. It is for individual local authorities to make provision for their areas in consultation with health boards and voluntary organisations.We accept, however, that there is a need to continue to treat certain types of mental illness in a hospital setting. Suitable hospital facilities must therefore continue to be provided with the emphasis on smaller units related to the communities they serve.I am not able to predict the mental hospital openings or closures which may take place over the next seven years. It is up to health boards to deliver services in the light of their strategic plans which in turn reflect Government's policy for the services concerned. Boards have no plans at present to build any completely new mental hospitals. Their strategic plans propose the eventual closure of some hospitals, but this would require an application to my right hon. and learned Friend for his approval.Details of new mental hospital beds the bulk of which are replacement beds are held centrally only from 1979. The information is as follows:

Number
1979120
198060
198160
1982Nil
1983432
1984240
1985600
1986270
1987120
Details of mental hospital beds closed in Scotland are held centrally only in relation to formal applications for closure made to the Secretary of State. The information, which is available only from 1979, is as follows:

Number
1979Nil
1980Nil

Number

1981Nil
1982Nil
1983Nil
1984Nil
198585
198658
198787