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NHS Outsourcing and Privatisation

Part of Royal Assent – in the House of Commons at 6:43 pm on 23rd May 2018.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle 6:43 pm, 23rd May 2018

I will use this opportunity to focus on continuing the great work of my predecessor the right hon. Alan Johnson and his campaign to ensure that Hull has the much needed child and adolescent mental health unit in our constituency.

We all accept that mental health is a huge problem, and I was proud to play a part in the Education Committee’s joint report on failing a generation which rightly criticised the Government’s Green Paper on this issue. But we have been waiting for this change for such a long time.

Alan became involved in the campaign for this unit after meeting a young mum and campaigner called Sally Burke. Her daughter, Maisie, had significant mental health problems, so significant that she was sent 140 miles away for treatment. My constituent was not able to see her daughter as much as she would have liked, which highlights the lack of provision in my constituency and the desperate need for it.

The people of Hull came together with the local newspaper, the Hull Daily Mail, and 3,500 people petitioned the Government to say that we desperately need this child and adolescent mental health services unit in our constituency. Members could imagine our joy and celebration when, in September 2017, we were told that the money had been found and that we were going to get the unit we had been desperately waiting and campaigning for.

The trust has got all the planning permissions ready, everything is organised and the land is there, waiting to go. We were told the building would start in October 2017 and that it would be finished and the unit would be opening in October 2018, and finally the people of my constituency would have access to the support they need.

Members could imagine my disappointment when I heard that the trust is unable to draw down the money that has been promised and that there are further delays. I raised this with the Chancellor on 17 April to ask why the money is stuck in the Treasury, and he asked me to write to him. So I wrote to him about it, and then I had to wait for a really long time, until I tabled a written question asking when he would reply to my letter. He eventually replied with the confusing response that the trust needs to submit more information on the business case for the unit. That deeply concerns me because the unit was promised back in September 2017 and we are still waiting.

The people of Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle are not fools, and they will not accept any more delays. They have been campaigning for this unit for years, and I will not let down my predecessor, the wonderful Alan Johnson, by not making sure I deliver on his legacy and getting the CAMHS unit we desperately need. I call on the Minister to take immediate action: stop faffing about and give us the money for our CAMHS unit, which was promised months ago. I promise I will not stop going on about it until he does.