HC Deb 24 November 1981 vol 13 cc363-4W
37. Mr. Colin Shepherd

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the effectiveness of joint funding as a means of bridging between hospital care and community care for the mentally handicapped.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

Joint finance continues to make a valuable contribution to developing community care, and up to last March about £50 million had been spent on jointly financed schemes for mentally handicapped people. More can be done in this direction, however, and that is why we issued the consultative document "Care in Community" in July inviting views on other ways of encouraging the transfer of people, including mentally handicapped people who do not need hospital treatment to the care of social services departments.

Mr. Pendry

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what additional provisions he is considering to improve the care of the estimated 30,000 long-term residents of mental handicapped hospitals, referred to in the Government's consultative document "Care in the Community", who are unlikely to be cared for in the community.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

In referring to those mentally handicapped patients who could be discharged immediately if services in the community were available, the consultative document made it clear that this was only a beginning. The suggestions made in that document were intended to bring benefit eventually to all mentally handicapped people.