Can my hon. Friend say precisely what arrangements are in hand for the new London boroughs in the Middlesex area to carry on this valuable training for the staff of the junior training centres when they take over next April? Can he also say what arrangements there may be for providing courses for the staff of the adult training centres?
The course at Chiswick Polytechnic will be open to students from any authority. I understand that a number of places for the first course will be reserved for Middlesex students. On the specific Question asked by my hon. Friend, we expect that the nine London boroughs in the Middlesex area will agree to sponsor these students after April 1965. In addition to courses for staff for adult training centres, the National Association for Mental Health also provides four full-time courses for teachers of mentally handicapped children, for which students are accepted from all over the United Kingdom and overseas.
Two particularly noteworthy features are the development of industrial training for mentally subnormal adults including units within ordinary factories, and a small residential hostel for patients discharged from mental hospital which is run by the residents themselves and was the first such hostel to be opened anywhere in the country.
Would the Joint Parliamentary Secretary not agree that Middlesex County Council has an outstanding record in mental health services, and can he give an assurance that the new London boroughs, when they take over from the Middlesex County Council next April, will continue and develop these services?
Yes, Sir, and I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Hon. Members opposite have no need to say "Oh" because I have always believed in giving credit where it is due. Just as my own county council has a splendid record in the welfare sector, so it is true to say that Middlesex County Council has an excellent record in the provision of mental health services.
On the second point raised by my hon. Friend, I can assure him that we are confident that the community mental health services now provided by Middlesex County Council will be developed still further by the London boroughs which are due to succeed the County Council in April, 1965.