Norman Lamb: another step forward on parity of esteem for mental health

From April 2014, for the first time, people who need mental health services will be able to choose where they receive their care.

In 2008, the Labour government gave patients the legal right to choose who provides their care when referred by a GP. Scandalously, however, that right was specifically denied to mental health service users – a clear, institutionalised bias against mental health services and service users who had to take what they are given, whether they like it or not.Until now.

On Thursday Nick Clegg announced that all this will change. From April 2013, anyone with a mental illness who needs to see a consultant as an outpatient will be able to choose which doctor will be in charge of their treatment. From April 2014, they will be able to choose which hospital they go to. As well as making a major practical difference to people’s lives, giving them a say over their treatment, this move strikes a clear symbolic blow in bringing mental health services – for too long treated as a Cinderella service – into line with physical health services.

It is clear from posts elsewhere on these pages that the Lib Dems ‘get’ the importance of mental health. This drive to end the bias against mental health services is all down to the Liberal Democrats in Government. I am passionate about mental health but Nick Clegg has always been there arguing exactly the same case. He was the first party leader to speak about mental health in opposition – and, in Government, he has delivered.

By March 2015 we want to see real and meaningful progress towards true equality between mental health and physical care. This ambition was set out in the NHS Mandate published last month. This week’s announcement brings us another step closer to making the rhetoric about ‘parity of esteem’ a reality.

See the Guardian’s report on this here.

* Norman Lamb MP is Liberal Democrat Minister of State at the Department of Health

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News and Parliament.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/32166 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

2 Comments

  • Foregone Conclusion 14th Dec '12 - 4:41pm

    This is great news. I’ve always been sceptical of NHS choice for secondary procedures – after all, one renologist is (or should be!) as good as another. But for mental health, the ability to find something that works for the particular patient is vital. Good on Norman Lamb for making this a reality.

  • This is a really positive move, unfortunately the kind of thing which rarely affects voter choices. But it’s great to be helping make a better society for the sake of it.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarToby Fenwick 23rd Dec - 1:11am
    Hireton: I don't get your riff on the NHS. Not only is the English NHS not being privatised (whatever that means - the NHS has...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 23rd Dec - 12:45am
    Stephen W I think you are confusing promises with predictions -- understandable, since both are usually expressed with the same tense. But the difference can...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 23rd Dec - 12:28am
    Tim Hill, I'm glad you agree with my comment. The pictures could have come from a bygone age. Well pre-suffragette. It's almost Whitechapel (the series)....
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 23rd Dec - 12:14am
    Hugh - As you say, given the present fee arrangements an extended course is pretty unattractive now (even with a paid year), that applies across...
  • User Avatarmalc 22nd Dec - 11:57pm
    Tim Hill Your on! I think it's one of the hardest seats to call, but I fancy the Tories to take it. The RSPCA is...
  • User AvatarShaun Whitfield 22nd Dec - 11:55pm
    Nothing 'normal' about Sutton's schools - it appears to retain a selective grammar school system.
Wed 31st Dec 2014
Sat 3rd Jan 2015
Wed 14th Jan 2015
Thu 15th Jan 2015
Fri 16th Jan 2015