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Lib Dems will invest £11bn into mental health to provide parity of urgency with physical health

November 6, 2019 10:01 AM
By Ellen Nicholson

• The NHS is the envy of the world, but our mental health service is not. Waiting times are being missed, people are not being referred for the treatment they need, and often action is taken only when at 'crisis' point, or too late.

• Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. For too many, treatment is a postcode lottery.

• One in 10 consultant psychiatric roles are unfilled and people with severe mental illness die on average 15-20 years earlier than the rest of the general population. Urgent action is needed to provide people with the support they need and comparative care to if they were suffering from a severe physical illness.

• Liberal Democrats will give the NHS and social care services the necessary funding by putting a penny in the pound on income tax. Ring-fencing funding for mental health will give a cash injection of £11bn fund over the next Parliament putting more investment into services such as
o child and adolescent mental health
o matching waiting time standards to those in physical health
o expanding our mental health workforce

• Making mental health services accessible to all is fundamental, and no one should be forced to travel unreasonable distances away from home. By prioritising young people coming out of care, and supporting students from school through to colleges and universities, it is possible to ensure that no one will have to travel out of area for all but the most specialist mental health services.

• Providing real parity between mental and physical health care is critical. We want to make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions available for free on the NHS, as is the case for conditions such as cancer and diabetes.

Parliamentary Candidate for South West Wiltshire, Ellen Nicholson said as a healthcare professional, I have seen firsthand the strain underinvestment in Mental Health services places on our systems so I welcome this announcement that will go some way to addressing the problems of access and care experienced by people using services.

Parity of esteem