Mental Patients (Farm Hostels)

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1959.

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Photo of Mr Albert Oram Mr Albert Oram , East Ham South 12:00 am, 20th July 1959

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the shortage of places in farm hostels for mental patients for whom this kind of accommodation is considered suitable; and what steps he proposes to remedy the position.

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

I am not aware of any general shortage. Hospitals authorities appreciate the value of providing this type of accommodation for selected patients, and as part of the development of the community mental health services, there will be an increasing number of local health authority hostels for the mentally disordered.

Photo of Mr Albert Oram Mr Albert Oram , East Ham South

Is the Minister aware that for over eighteen months I have been in correspondence with the Board of Control about a constituent of mine, Mr. Oxley, who is a patient at Rampton Hospital? It is agreed that this type of accommodation is very suitable for this patient, but no place has been found for him because it is stated that there is a shortage of accommodation. In view of the first part of the Minister's Answer, that he is not aware of any general shortage, will he look into this case if I send him particulars?

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

I am familiar with the case of Mr. Oxley, to which the hon. Gentleman has drawn attention. It is a fact that the two hostels in which it was sought to get him accommodation were not in a position to receive him. The alternative proposition at present under consideration is that he should go to South Ockenden Hospital, where daily farm work could be provided for him if he is suitable for it.