Is the hon. Lady aware that the Gateshead medical officer of health has stated in the Press that there are about 68 old people of over 65 years of age in a mental hospital, and that he went on to say that many of these old people felt it was a stigma to be sent to a mental hospital? May I ask the hon. Lady if she will re-examine this matter? Would she agree that, if the facts are as stated, the 41 additional beds for geriatric patients which she mentioned in answer to a previous Question is an inadequate number, and that something ought to be done to deal with this human problem?
If that is so, I should certainly be prepared to look at it, but I am wondering whether there is some confusion here. I am advised that in the welfare home of the county borough, which is called Fountain View, of 271 occupied places, 71 are taken by persons with some mental impairment, but that is not a mental hospital.
May I ask the hon. Lady to make further inquiries? The medical officer of health says that there has been no alternative to placing them in a mental hospital. That is regarded as quite scandalous and ought to be examined.