§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many mentally handicapped and mentally ill people have been moved from institutions into the community in each of the past five years; what steps were taken to ensure that they were given adequate community care; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Patten
Information on the numbers of mentally handicapped and mentally ill people who move from institutions into the community is not collected centrally. Care in the community may take a number of forms, according to the needs of the individual, so that some will live in residential accommodation provided by the NHS or local authority social services, voluntary or privately run homes while others can live in their own homes or with a family with the support of community health and social services. It is for the health and or local authority concerned to ensure that mentally handicapped and mentally ill people are moved into appropriate and adequate forms of care. Regional health authorities were asked in the "Care in the Community and Joint Finance" circular (HC 83/6) to monitor the follow-up of care in the community in their districts. The national development team for mentally handicapped people and the health advisory service with the Department's own social work service are available to advise authorities on the provisions of services.