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Mentally Ill People

Volume 130: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the amounts provided for the forthcoming year for bridging funds in Scotland for local care of patients discharged or excluded from mental hospitals; how much in each case is provided for long-term patients still to be discharged from hospitals and how much for those already discharged from hospital; what the figure per patient is in each case; and if he will make a statement.

The arrangements for the funding of community care in Scotland do not provide for bridging funds. Under NHS circular 1985(GEN)18, health boards may make lump sum or continuing payments to a local authority or voluntary agency towards the cost of projects which make it possible for people such as the mentally ill to return to, or remain in, the community. The indicative level for 1988–89 notified to health boards is £4·7 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what experiments in hospital hostels for discharged mental patients have been conducted in Scotland; what lessons have been learnt; and if he will make a statement.

Hospital hostels are regarded as part of the psychiatric hospital provision and generally do not accommodate patients who have been discharged. These hostels care for patients who are preparing to re-enter the community. Initiatives in these programmes are conducted and developed on a continuing basis.