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Mentally Ill And Mentally Handicapped People

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes in expenditure on and statutory provision for services to the mentally ill and mentally handicapped there have been since 1979.

Gross spending on hospital and community health services for the mentally ill and mentally handicapped increased in real terms by 20 per cent. (to £1,149 million) and 11 per cent. (to £497 million) respectively between 1978–79 and 1986–87, the most recent year for which information is available. Estimated gross expenditure by local authorities for the two groups increased in real terms by 50 per cent. (to £44 million) and 69 per cent. (to £288 million) respectively over the same period.Since 1979 there have been a number of important changes to the statute law relevant to services, most notably the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986. In addition, further changes are proposed in the NHS and Community Care Bill.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the Government intends to meet the provisions of section 7 of the, Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986 with regard to mentally handicapped people leaving long-stay hospitals.

As announced in the White Paper "Caring for People" the Government do not now intend to implement section 7 of the Act. The need to do so will be reconsidered in the light of several years' experience of the introduction of the assessment and case management procedures outlined in the White Paper. Current guidance already stresses the need for health authorities to ensure that there is provision for assessing individuals' particular needs.