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Community Care

Volume 229: debated on Friday 23 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average length of time taken to prepare a patient who has been in hospital for most of his or her life for discharge under the care in the community legislation; and if he will conduct an investigation into the success of the policy.

Patients who have spent many years in hospital receive careful preparation for discharge to community care. The length of time taken to prepare discharge varies widely from case to case and will depend on the patient's mental and physical condition, the nature of their illness, the length of time they have been in hospital, the availability of rehabilitation services, and the availability of suitable accommodation and support services in the community to help the patient after discharge. The primary objective for all concerned is that no patient should be discharged until they are well prepared and appropriate services are in place in the community to support them.The Scottish Office will shortly issue a circular describing the latest monitoring arrangements for evaluating the effectiveness of the community care reforms.