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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.