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.

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 ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLester Holloway 22nd Oct - 8:40am
    Caron Lindsay "Lester’s talking specifically about the AV+ system that may be on offer post election. But he doesn’t mention that we already have STV...
  • User AvatarDenis Mollison 22nd Oct - 8:26am
    I'm old enough to remember the anti-Whitlam coup, and being saddened that he did not feel strong enough to either abolish the governor-general or at...
  • User AvatarAlisdair McGregor 22nd Oct - 8:14am
    Nothing on Devolution, when (for once) the subject is a household topic?
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 22nd Oct - 7:59am
    "I strongly support what Julian and Gareth have said about conference and the richness of the experience. I don’t see how meeting locally deals with...
  • User AvatarTim13 22nd Oct - 7:39am
    Caracatus - I would add Davey and part-timer Laws to your list. Steve Way says that it "would be seen" as tokenism. He makes clear...
  • User AvatarChrisB 22nd Oct - 7:38am
    My point, wasn't about data access - it was specifically that the issue of tax can't be separated from legislation, corporate interests and lobbying. If...