Written Answers. - Patients in Psychiatric Hospitals.

Richard Bruton

Question:

120 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with mental handicaps who are currently inappropriately placed in psychiatric hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Approximately 1,500 people with mental handicap are accommodated in psychiatric hospitals. People with mental handicap are no longer admitted to psychiatric hospitals unless they require psychiatric treatment. It is the policy of my Department to transfer people with mental handicap who do not require psychiatric care to more suitable accommodation as soon as possible.

A number of health boards have already transferred people with mental handicap from their psychiatric hospitals. My Department will continue to encourage health boards to transfer people with mental handicap to more appropriate facilities.