§ 13. Mr. Fortescue
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of beds in National Health Service hospitals was occupied by geriatric 5 cases and mental health cases, respectively, in 1960, 1964 and 1968.
§ Mr. Fortescue
I am not particularly grateful for the Answers which I am getting from the Secretary of State this afternoon. Will he confirm that a large proportion of beds in National Health Service hospitals are occupied by geriatric and mental patients, and say what his Department is doing to provide accommodation for such patients in other than ordinary hospitals, so that ordinary hospital beds may be occupied by people needing urgent treatment?
§ Mr. Crossman
I do not think that the figures bear out what the hon. Gentleman says. Between 1960 and 1968 there has been a decrease in mental illness beds of nearly 20 per cent. and a slight increase in geriatric beds of 1.6 per cent. This is very proper, since we need more geriatric beds and, because of the rapid turnover of mental patients, fewer mental illness beds, so the percentage is related to the need in that period.
§ Following are the figures:
|Percentage of total available beds|
|Geriatric patients (including the chronic sick)||11.51||11.77||12.10|
|Mentally ill patients||31.52||28.32||26.22|
|Mentally subnormal and severely subnormal patients||12.05||12.34||12.69|
|All psychiatric patients||43.57||40.68||38.91|