“New Lib Dem plan will ensure that mental health services are more effective and accessible”

January 23, 2014 12:24 PM

The Liberal Democrat Care Minister, Norman Lamb MP, has launched a new action plan for mental health entitled "Closing the Gap: Priorities for Essential Change in Mental Health". The document sets out how the Government will deliver a significant improvement in mental health care and support.

The 25 key priorities address the current unfair precedence that the NHS places on treatment for physical health over mental health. For example, setting clear waiting time standards for mental health patients, providing better support to new mothers, and ensuring a faster response to self-harm patients and those in mental health crisis.

Local MP Mark Hunter commenting on the plan said:

Norman Lamb MP

Norman Lamb MP, Care Minister

"When the previous Government introduced access and waiting time standards for physical health, they failed to do so for mental health. For years this has distorted priorities within our health system. I am delighted that Liberal Democrats in Government are taking action to put right this profound injustice.

"This action plan contributes to the hard work we are doing to ensure that the needs of those with mental health problems are properly considered not just in the NHS, but also across our public sector: with better support in education, employment, the justice sector, housing and elsewhere."

Norman Lamb added:

"At least one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life, it is our responsibility as a society to make sure they get the support they need to live independent and fulfilled lives is essential.

"Rectifying the profound injustice in the priority given to physical health over mental health has been one of my highest priorities as a Department of Health Minister. The renewed and strengthened commitment to mental health outlined in this action plan will transform people's lives."

The full announcement is available at ow.ly/sKoxI

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