Warm words on mental health aren‘t enough – it’s time action backed up intention

Today the Education Policy Institute (EPI) released their latest report on their review of Mental Health provision for Children and Young People1 . The report showed a poor performance across the whole of England, mainly due to a “postcode lottery” of funding and service provision.

Health Spokesperson Lee Dargue
Health Spokesperson Lee Dargue

In reviewing the report, Lee Dargue, Spokesperson for Health in the West Midlands Liberal Democrats, said “The EPI has produced another fantastic report, showing us the issues around mental health service provision across England. Whilst the review shows a few small improvements for our region, there are huge gaps between this government’s rhetoric and reality. Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May seem to be burying their heads in the sand, asserting funding and service provision are fine, yet young people and mental health continue to be discriminated against. This is outrageous and has to stop”.

Considering the West Midlands, Lee noted “We have major issues in areas such as Shropshire and Solihull, who seem to have no plan at all in their local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to improve mental health provision for young people.

“NHS England has a five year plan for improving services, but CCGs in the region are inconsistent, and central government funding is lacking. There has been a huge missed opportunity in the Combined Authority not having Health as a devolved matter. As Mayor, Beverley Nielsen, LibDem Mayoral candidate, would prioritise having health powers and budgets devolved to the region as part of the next devolution settlement."

Lee finally announced “I fully support the recommendation from the EPI that a Crisis Care Concordat specific for Children and Young People’s Mental Health is established. Liberal Democrats in Government, via Minister Norman Lamb, sought to end the detaining of children in police cells during a mental health crisis. The same focus should now be put on the provision of mental health services to all young people.”



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