Local MP Mark Hunter, welcomed Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support to Cheadle constituency as part of a visit to two key care providers.
Mark first took Norman to see excellent work at the both locally and nationally respected St Ann’s Hospice, Heald Green. Before a tour of the site they met with members of the leadership team, Eamonn O’Neal, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Rachel McMillan, the Director of Clinical Services. During the meeting they discussed St Ann’s expert care before talking about general challenges that hospices are currently facing.
Mark and Norman then travelled to Stockport and District Mind in central Stockport where they met with Mind’s Operations Manager, Les Crabb, and Stockport Progress and Recovery Centre (SPARC) Manager, Lynn Barrett. Mark and the Minister received an update on mental healthcare in Stockport, and listened to suggestions on what action the Coalition Government could take to further help provide support to some of the most vulnerable local residents.
The Minister used the opportunity to talk about what the Department of Health has been doing on Mental Health and drew attention to the recent Liberal Democrat announcement that treatment for mental health conditions will, for the first time ever, be brought into line with other NHS services with the introduction of waiting time standards. From April 2015, most patients needing talking therapies – for conditions like depression – will be guaranteed the treatment they need in as little as six weeks, with a maximum wait of 18 weeks.
Commenting after the visits, Mark Hunter said:
‘It was a pleasure as always to welcome my friend and colleague Norman Lamb to Cheadle constituency. Thanks to both St Ann’s Hospice and Stockport Mind for hosting us, I was of course very proud to show the Minister two very different but first-class, local charities that provide such wonderful care to residents. This was a great opportunity for the leading staff of both organisations, and SPARC, to share their thoughts and concerns directly to the Minister, and one that they both took full advantage of.’
Norman Lamb added:
‘I really appreciated the chance to visit Cheadle today and its excellent MP, Mark Hunter. I am of course well aware of the reputation of St Ann’s Hospice and the wonderful care that they provide residents from across the North-West. Great to also meet up with Stockport Mind and SPARC to hear about their experiences locally, and to share with them the new policies that the Liberal Democrats are introducing to help support those that have mental health conditions.’