Grenfell Tower: Mental Health

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th February 2018.

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Photo of Emma Dent Coad Emma Dent Coad Labour, Kensington 12:00 am, 6th February 2018

What steps he is taking to support the mental health needs of survivors and the wider community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

I am very grateful to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the NHS staff who continue to work tirelessly to support the victims of the fire and their families. So far, more than 4,000 contacts have been made. Over 400 adults are currently in treatment and 96 have completed their treatment.

Photo of Emma Dent Coad Emma Dent Coad Labour, Kensington

We have heard the Minister’s words and a litany of numbers. I have two further questions. First, is she considering long-term funding for mental health services around Grenfell, which will be needed, and need to be planned for, for possibly up to five years? Secondly, is she addressing the severe shortage of acute beds for those suffering mental health crises, which was mentioned earlier, particularly as there is an entire ward under lock and key at the Gordon Hospital due to lack of staff funding and a huge need for acute beds there?

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The hon. Lady is quite right to press me on these issues. Clearly there is going to be ongoing trauma, and we need to pay attention to that and make sure that there are adequate resources. I can assure her that this is very high on the list of priorities for the ministerial group. We have committed £23.9 million of national Government funds to address survivors’ needs, with additional expenditure on wider support. The autumn Budget committed a further £28 million to help support victims. I can also assure her that I am in regular contact with Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust to make sure that we are doing our bit to address this need.