In these remarks I want to concentrate on services for mentally ill people, though many of my comments are relevant to the other two parts of that unhappy triumvirate of neglected services, mental handicap and old age. Though finances appear even more ‘restrained’ now, with the latest expenditure White Paper projecting a real drop of 2 per cent in personal social services spending between 1985 and 1988, we should avoid an excess of political emotion over reason. There has been progress over the last ten years in promoting mental health. What the figures I will quote show, however, is how painfully slow and erratic these developments have been.
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