§ Mr. Ernie Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will now consider establishing medium security units in Scotland;
(2) if he is satisfied with security arrangements in local mental hospitals.
§ Mr. Fairgrieve
The State hospital at Carstairs provides secure accommodation for mentally ill or mentally defective patients who have dangerous, violent or criminal propensities. For patients who do not require such a high degree of security, but who nevertheless at times display disturbed behaviour to such an extent as to constitute a risk to themselves or to others, intensive nursing care is provided in wards, which may where necessary be locked, in psychiatric or mental deficiency hospitals.
My right hon. Friend has no reason to believe that these arrangements are inadequate and has no plans to provide regional secure units as recommended in the interim report of the Committee on Mentally Abnormal Offenders, which dealt with the different situation in England and Wales. He will, however, review present arrangements generally in the light of reports on psychiatric services which are being prepared by the Programme Planning Group on Mental Disorder set up jointly by the Scottish Health Service Planning Council and the Advisory Council on Social Work.