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Mental Handicap Strategy

Volume 205: debated on Monday 9 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he is yet in a position to publish his firm proposals for the future of the all Wales mental handicap strategy; and if he will make a statement.

I am today publishing my firm decisions on the future of the all Wales strategy which will be re-launched at the end of its first 10-year term in April 1993. A copy of my decisions has been sent today to all Welsh MPs and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House. The special allocations that my Department makes to help support the strategy will total £41·5 million for 1992–93. This represents an increase of over 20 per cent. on the £34·2 million allocated in 1991–92, which in itself was almost double the 1989–90 allocation of £18·3 million.The strategy has already helped to improve the lives of many people with mental handicaps and their families. For example, when the strategy was launched in 1983, only 41 families were receiving support in their own homes whereas today well over 3,000 receive these services; today over 1,000 adults with mental handicap live in homes of their own compared to 166 people in 1983. I am confident that my proposals for the future of the all Wales mental handicap strategy, as part of our wider "Caring for People" reforms, will provide the right foundation for the development of top quality services throughout Wales into the 21st century.