Mental Health (Elderly People)

Question Time — Scottish Executive – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:32 pm on 20th March 2003.

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Photo of Adam Ingram Adam Ingram Scottish National Party 2:32 pm, 20th March 2003

To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that elderly people with mental health problems receive the care and support that they require. (S1O-6658)

Photo of Mary Mulligan Mary Mulligan Labour

Partnership for Care" continues our focus on prevention, early detection and prompt access to seamless support for all care groups, including older people. Local progress is monitored through the performance assessment framework and by the visiting mental health and well-being support group.

Photo of Adam Ingram Adam Ingram Scottish National Party

Is the minister aware of reports that people who are suffering from dementia are being disadvantaged in respect of finding care home places and that people are losing care home places in parts of the country such as South Ayrshire. Will she consider introducing supplementary funding to cover the extra costs that care homes incur in caring for people with dementia? I believe that that happens in England and Wales.

Photo of Mary Mulligan Mary Mulligan Labour

I am aware that a number of authorities, including South Ayrshire, are having further discussions about the provision of care home places. We hope that those discussions will come to a successful conclusion fairly soon. In recognising the additional needs of those who suffer from dementia, we take every action possible to ensure that places at care homes are provided locally for those who need them.

Photo of Phil Gallie Phil Gallie Conservative

With reference to the Scottish Executive's "The same as you?" document, what thought has the minister given to institutional care and what progress has been made in that regard? What flexibility do ministers have, particularly with respect to withdrawing some of the stated intents for closure? I am thinking of the excellent Arrol Park development in Ayr.

Photo of Mary Mulligan Mary Mulligan Labour

My understanding is that that place does not seek to offer services for those who suffer from dementia. However, the Executive is taking forward the "The same as you?" document to ensure that individuals are given the adequate provision that they need in the community. I think that the majority of those people want to be part of their community. With the support that we can offer through the various departments across the Executive, we can ensure that those people get the satisfactory support that they need.

Photo of John McAllion John McAllion Labour

Is the minister aware that the recently announced review of adult mental health services in Tayside proposes the closure of acute beds in Angus and Perth and the concentration of services at the Carseview hospital in Dundee, which is a public-private partnership hospital that is run for profit by the private sector on a 25-year lease? Given that Carseview was built to service Dundee, what reassurance can the minister give that the needs of elderly people and of all other groups with mental health problems in Tayside will come before the need for profit of the PPP that runs Carseview?

Photo of Mary Mulligan Mary Mulligan Labour

The fact that we have spent the past two days debating mental health provision shows the Executive's commitment to ensuring that all people are offered the service that they need. I have to be honest and say that I am not aware of the case to which Mr McAllion referred. I believe, however, that people accept the provision of modern, up-to-date facilities to provide for their needs. Whether that provision is by PPP is probably not their first concern.