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Liberal Democrats announce £5 million extra funding for mental health in Newcastle

May 15, 2017 9:42 AM
The Liberal Democrats have said that they will add another £1 billion for mental ill health care through putting a penny on income tax. This would equate to approximately £5 million of the party's additional health funding being spent in Newcastle tackling the "historic injustice" faced by people with mental ill health.

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron and Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb unveiled a Five Point NHS and Care Recovery Plan to increase funding for health and social care services, including a penny on income tax to provide a £6 billion funding boost.

Today the Liberal Democrats announced that they will spend approximately £5 million of this extra money, which would be ring-fenced, as dedicated funding for mental health services in Newcastle upon Tyne.

This would help to deliver on 12 key priorities, including improving waiting time standards for mental health care on the NHS and providing support for pregnant women and young people suffering from mental health problems.

The Liberal Democrats will also set out to end the inappropriate use of force against people with mental ill health, end out of area placements for mental health patients and prioritise national action to reduce the number of suicides.

Dr Wendy TaylorCommenting on the plan, Dr Wendy Taylor Liberal Democrats candidate for Newcastle East said:

"The Liberal Democrats pledge to spend £5million extra in Newcastle is important as it demonstrates our commitment to ending the historic injustice against people with mental ill health.
"As a doctor I'm horrified how the Tories abandoned promises to tackle this injustice as soon as they won the 2015 election. Under the Conservative government, services have been stretched to breaking point at a time when the prevalence of mental ill health appears to be rising.
Without dedicated funding, money intended for mental health will continue to be used to prop up other areas of the NHS. Yet across the country mental health trusts are struggling to provide timely referrals and treatment for their patients. In Newcastle ambitious plans have been agreed to improve mental health inpatient & community services, but there is not enough money to implement these vital improvements

"Health, particularly mental health is a key issue on the doorstep. People want action, not just words and the Liberal Democrats neither Labour nor the Conservatives have outlined how they will fund mental health services. .

"We will invest in improving waiting time standards for mental health care in Newcastle, end the scandalous use of force against people with mental ill health, fund vital new community & inpatient services and prioritise national action to dramatically reduce the number of people who take their own lives.

"The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservatives, and the only party fighting for genuine equality for those who suffer from mental ill health."