Mental Health Act 1983 — [Ms Karen Buck in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:20 pm on 25th July 2019.

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Photo of Barbara Keeley Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care) 3:20 pm, 25th July 2019

There is also the financial difficulty that my hon. Friend Kerry McCarthy referred to. Private hospitals that autistic people and people with learning disabilities end up in tend to be very expensive—we know that the placements can be as much as £730,000 a year. The answer is to fund placements in the community. Years ago, when we were moving people out of long-stay mental health institutions, there was a dowry system. The Government do not have a dowry system to help with this, so Transforming Care failed because there was no mechanism to transfer funding from the NHS, which is taking the hit on cost, to cash-strapped local authorities. If local authorities are to continue being cash-strapped, and I hope they are not, some mechanism is needed there. My party has pledged to put in £350 million a year of transfers to make that happen. Does that idea recommend itself to the Minister? I know she is bothered about this.