§ Mr. Moyle
Responsibility for deciding on the numbers and grades of staff required to meet specific service commitments is delegated to individual health authorities. Each area health authority sets its own staffing levels, taking into account its particular local requirements. My Department has issued guidance on minimum standards for nursing staff in relation to the number of patients, in respect of the mentally ill, the mentally handicapped and the elderly. The only figures available centrally are for mental handicap and mental illness hospitals with over 200 beds. There were no such hospitals for the mentally ill below the minimum standard in 1976: but three such hospitals for the mentally handicapped were below the minimum standard in that year.