Asylum Treatment.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ex-Service Men. – in the House of Commons on 16th February 1922.

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Photo of Captain Charles Loseby Captain Charles Loseby , Bradford East

11.

asked the Minister of Pensions if ex-service men in county and borough lunatic asylums are treated as private patients; and what is the average payment per head per week made by the Ministry of Pensions in respect of the exceptional privileges accorded them?

Photo of Sir James Macpherson Sir James Macpherson , Ross and Cromarty

Certified patients for the cost of whose maintenance and treatment the Ministry has accepted liability, are classified as "service patients," and are, by special arrangement with the Board of Control, received in asylums on the legal footing of private patients. The average weekly cost of a "service patient" is 36s. 9d. Of course, this amount does not include treatment allowances.

Photo of Captain Charles Loseby Captain Charles Loseby , Bradford East

Am I to understand from my right hon. Friend that this 36s. 9d. is paid over and above the amount ordinarily paid in respect of pauper patients?

Photo of Captain Charles Loseby Captain Charles Loseby , Bradford East

Then, could he give me an idea of the figure that represents the additional value given to the ex-service men in order to classify them as private patients?

Photo of Sir James Macpherson Sir James Macpherson , Ross and Cromarty

I cannot give the actual money payment at the present moment, but payment is made for the ex-service patient to secure that he shall not feel that he is treated as a pauper patient but as a private patient.

Photo of Captain Charles Loseby Captain Charles Loseby , Bradford East

But has the right hon. Gentleman no idea of the additional cost per head?

Photo of Captain Charles Loseby Captain Charles Loseby , Bradford East

12.

asked the Minister of Pensions the average cost per head per week of officers mentally affected maintained in institutions conducted by the Ministry of Pensions, and the average payment per head per week paid in respect of officers detained in lunatic asylums?

Photo of Sir James Macpherson Sir James Macpherson , Ross and Cromarty

I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend desires to compare the cost of maintenance in lunatic asylums with that in the Ministry institutions for the treatment of officers suffering from neurasthenia and similar uncertifiable disorders, as there are no mental hospitals under my control. The average cost per head in such Ministry institutions is 87s. 6d. a week, as compared with an average payment of 89s. 10d. a week made by the Ministry in respect of officers in asylums.

Photo of Captain Charles Loseby Captain Charles Loseby , Bradford East

Can the right hon. Gentleman answer the second part of my question?

Photo of Sir James Macpherson Sir James Macpherson , Ross and Cromarty

I have said that the average payment in respect of officers in asylums is 89s. 10d. a week.

Photo of Captain Charles Loseby Captain Charles Loseby , Bradford East

13.

asked the Minister of Pensions if the next-of-kin of ex-service men certified insane who are willing and able to take charge of and provide adequate treatment for such ex-service men in accordance with the lunacy laws, receive from the Ministry of Pensions the same treatment allowances as are paid in respect of ex-service men confined in lunatic asylums; and the number of cases, if any, in which such treatment allowances were paid in the year 1921?

Photo of Sir James Macpherson Sir James Macpherson , Ross and Cromarty

An ex-service man discharged from an asylum by the responsible authorities to the care of his relatives and in need of further treatment for a mental disability not certifiable but due to or aggravated by service would be eligible for the usual allowances appropriate to home treatment. No separate record of such cases is kept, and I am therefore unable to give the information asked for in the last part of the question.

Photo of Captain Charles Loseby Captain Charles Loseby , Bradford East

Can my right hon. Friend tell me if in a single case in 1921 the allowance was paid except in respect of certifiable men confined in lunatic asylums?

Photo of Sir James Macpherson Sir James Macpherson , Ross and Cromarty

I can add nothing to the answer given.

Photo of Captain Charles Loseby Captain Charles Loseby , Bradford East

I beg to give notice, in view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, that I shall raise this matter on the motion for the adjournment.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

16.

asked the Minister of Pensions whether the practice is still continued of sending a pensions doctor to interview ex-service men detained as private patients in asylums and to intimate to them that if they do not remain where they are they will run the risk of losing the whole or a part of their allowance, thus contravening the provisions of the Lunacy Act in regard to the powers of release, which are in the hands of the next-of-kin of private patients such as ex-service men?

Photo of Sir James Macpherson Sir James Macpherson , Ross and Cromarty

There is no foundation for the suggestion made by the hon. Member. The medical inspectors of my Department who, by arrangement with the Board of Control, visit asylums in which ex-service men are under treatment, do so solely in the interests of the service patients, and do not in any way interfere with the administration of the lunacy laws.