Does not the Minister consider it disgraceful that, five years after the units were recommended as a matter of great urgency and after £24 million has been given to regional health authorities, we still have not one single unit in existence? Is he aware that three regional authorities have not spent one penny of the money allocated to them for this purpose and that three others have not submitted plans to his Department? Will he call in the chairmen of every regional authority and insist that progress is made soon?
I am interested that the hon. Gentleman has pointed out the failures of the previous Government. My right hon. Friend and I share his concern about the lack of places in regional secure units. We should like to see more units for the sake of patients, nurses and the communities in which they are placed and we are urgently looking into the provision of units. We shall shortly be meeting the chairmen of regional authorities and this matter will be on the agenda.
I seldom, if ever, agree with the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk), but may I impress upon my hon. Friend the importance of secure units? Is he aware that many people are concerned that violent, mentally disordered patients are being allocated to hospitals without secure accommodation, and that this is creating great worry to the communities in which those hospitals are located? Will he therefore treat the matter with considerable urgency?