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MP criticises mental health provision in NHS plan

Wednesday 9th January 2019
Mental health provisions in the new NHS plan are flawed, according to an MP.
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The level of provision for tackling mental health inequalities in the new NHS England ten-year plan is not good enough, an MP has claimed. 

Preet Gaur, Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, told the Express and Star newspaper the plan has only committed NHS funding to the creation of new health support teams for around a quarter of England over the next five years. 

Labelling this a "disgrace", she added: "This decision will leave thousands of children every year still unable to receive the help and support they need."

She added: "To add insult to injury, the year long training required to be an education mental health practitioner working in one of the new mental health support teams is only just commencing."

This, she argued, raised the question of whether it will be another year before any of the teams will be up and running.

Ms Kaur concluded that the plan needs to include an approach to mental health that addresses "the causes, as well as the effects".

Under the plan, an extra 70,000 children and young people will get access to treatment each year up to 2020/21, while by 2023/24 an extra 345,000 people aged up to 25 will be able to get support from the support teams.

A clear stated aim of this development is to ensure children with mental health issues are not suddenly switched from child to adult mental health services the day they turn 18. 

The ten-year plan includes a number of other new measures aimed at addressing mental health matters.  
 
This includes helping an extra 24,000 women with perinatal health problems by 2023/24, in addition to the 30,000 women set to receive extra help by 2020/21.

It is not just women whose mental health is affected by maternity who will receive help, as the plan noted five to ten per cent of fathers experience difficulties too, and they will also benefit from the extra care being provided. 

Written by Angela Newbury

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