Mental Defectives (Accommodation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st January 1958.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Eustace Willis Mr Eustace Willis , Edinburgh East 12:00 am, 21st January 1958

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what additional accommodation was made available for mental defectives in the Scottish South-Eastern Region in 1957; and what additional accommodation it is expected to make available in 1958.

Photo of Mr Jack Browne Mr Jack Browne , Glasgow Craigton

In 1957 the total number of places for mental defectives in the region was increased by 36. This year my right hon. Friend expects a start will be made on a new unit of 62 beds at Gogarburn but it will not be available for occupation this year.

Photo of Mr Eustace Willis Mr Eustace Willis , Edinburgh East

Does not the hon. Member agree that that progress is far too slow and that at this rate it will take about eight to ten years to provide the accommodation required? Can he speed up this matter?

Photo of Mr Jack Browne Mr Jack Browne , Glasgow Craigton

I join with the hon. Member in his concern, but I can assure him that the regional board is doing all it can with its available resources.

Photo of Mr Eustace Willis Mr Eustace Willis , Edinburgh East

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects that institutional accommodation will be provided for the mental defectives at present resident in Westfield Park Home, Dalkeith.

Photo of Mr Jack Browne Mr Jack Browne , Glasgow Craigton

My right hon. Friend is informed that the mental defectives at Westfield are on the hospital waiting list and will be admitted according to the respective urgency of their cases. My right hon. Friend is afraid it is impossible to forecast dates for admissions.

Photo of Mr Eustace Willis Mr Eustace Willis , Edinburgh East

Is the hon. Member aware that some of these cases have been on the waiting list for ten years? Is it not time, in the interests of Westfield Park Home itself, that these people were provided with accommodation elsewhere? Is not the present position scandalous?

Photo of Mr Jack Browne Mr Jack Browne , Glasgow Craigton

I am aware that what the hon. Member says is correct. He is aware of the overall shortage of mental deficiency accommodation. I can assure him that priority of admission is decided by an assessment panel on which the local authority is represented.

Photo of Mr Eustace Willis Mr Eustace Willis , Edinburgh East

On a point of order. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Answer, I beg to give notice that I will try to raise the matter on the Adjournment.