To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking in the move to care in the community for mental patients to give recognition to the role and skills of nurses qualified to care for them.
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave him on 23 January at column 664. The key functions and responsibilities of Health Service staff remain essentially unaltered by the proposals in "Caring for People". There are two key health care initiatives in which psychiatric nurses will be involved—continuing health care flowing from the requirement which will be placed on health authorities to ensure that discharge of patients into the community is more effective; and the production of a multi-disciplinary document following the recently produced report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists on "Discharge and After-Care Procedures for Patients Discharged from In-Patient Psychiatric Treatment".