Mental Health Services

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 16th May 2006.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Minister (Children) 2:30 pm, 16th May 2006

I presume the Minister was disappointed with Rethink when it published a damning catalogue of budget cuts to mental health services around the country: the closure of mental health day hospitals in Suffolk; mental health wards closed at St. George's, Tooting or forced to become mixed sex wards; and 5 per cent. cuts in Hertfordshire mental health services. Was she disappointed with the Mind report yesterday, which highlighted the absence of appropriate services for the one in six women who suffer mental health problems around childbirth, with 25 per cent. of them waiting more than six months for any support? Will she be disappointed tomorrow, when Pulse magazine brings to Parliament general practitioners who are alarmed at its survey showing 93 per cent. of GPs prescribing antidepressants contrary to National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines, because of a lack of available alternatives? Does she really think that our mental health services are having their best year ever?