Tag Archives: norman lamb

Nick Clegg: “Don’t put mentally ill kids in cell”

One of the many horrible injustices faced by people in the throes of a mental health crisis is that, rather than get the medical help they need, they’re locked up in a police cell.

Norman Lamb and Nick Clegg have been doing something to ensure that these people have better care. A new Crisis Care Concordat between Police, paramedics and health services should deliver important changes:

  • Health-based places of safety and beds are available 24/7 in case someone experiences a mental health crisis
  • Police custody should not be used because mental health services are not available and police vehicles should also not be

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Après Nick: which Lib Dem MPs are best-placed to become the next Lib Dem leader?

Today’s Independent has an interesting story speculating on the Lib Dem leadership contest to come if the 2015 election result triggers Nick Clegg’s resignation. It’s one of the features of this parliament – perhaps linked to it being a fixed-term in which we know the dates are all known – that there hasn’t been nearly as much gossip about future leadership bids in any of the three main parties.

Anyway, the Indy story seeks to make up a little for that absence: Nick Clegg’s rivals for the Lib Dems leadership told to rev up. The premise of the article …

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“A wake-up call on mental illness”

Sarah Chisnall is a Scottish public affairs consultant and mental health campaigner. She’s also married to Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West Mike Crockart.

On Sunday, she wrote a powerful piece for Scotland on Sunday talking about her experience of living with Bulimia and Depression and how she pledged to speak out to tackle the stigma attached to mental illness.

The stigma surrounding mental illness prevents us from speaking out to family, friends, let alone the wider world. I have always worried what friends might think and how it could affect my career or that of my husband, Mike Crockart, who is

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Opinion: Closing the gap

closing the gapYesterday was an important day for anyone concerned about the state of mental health care in this country. It was also an important day for me as not only did I find myself agreeing with Nick for the fourth time in a fortnight (scary but true) but I could applaud a coalition policy.

Just over a year ago I lost my younger sister Sarah, who was suffering from schizo affective disorder.  As a family we had grown up with a bi-polar father at a time when so few of us, or the wider population, understood the condition. With my sister we understood more, but were only too aware of how little others did. I haven’t written about Sarah yet as it is still too painful – that is a story for another day. But, I have always taken a particular interest in mental health and bringing mental health services up to the standard of the rest of the health service. Even for someone like me (who is not particularly afraid to challenge), my interaction with the services has been horrendously frustrating and myself and my family nearly always felt as if we were being totally ignored. Getting anyone to do anything was like constantly banging your head against a brick wall, exhausting, frustrating and painful.

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Paul Burstow MP writes… Government should make New Year’s resolution to tackle mental health employment scandal

Mental health has rightly gone up the political agenda since the coalition came to power. Long neglected, mental health problems cost the UK in excess of £105 billion annually and affect one in four of the population.

Earlier this month saw publication of the most comprehensive picture of progress on mental health. The government’s Mental Health Dashboard brings together in one place mental health data from a wide range of sources for the first time. Its aim is to monitor the progress achieved in implementing the No Health Without Mental Health strategy.

My successor at the Department of Health, care …

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Norman Lamb is surely right: pensioners who own their own homes and have more than £23,000 savings are ‘quite wealthy’

“If someone as well as their home has substantial other assets, money in the bank, shares or whatever, should they be expected to use those assets to pay for care? Or should we say, we will always defer the costs of selling their home? If you’ve got a vast amount of money in the bank, you’re quite wealthy, it’s desirable that we protect that money but the scheme has to be affordable. If together with owning your own home, you have more than £23,000-odd in the bank, the question is should you be expected to use that money. You are

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LDVideo: Norman Lamb says he’s on a mission for better mental health care

Norman LambNorman Lamb has given an interview to the BBC about mental health provision after a joint BBC/Community Care magazine investigation found that 1700 mental health beds had been lost in recent years. To his credit, there was no spin from him, no excuses. He simply acknowledged that the current situation wasn’t good enough, explained what he’s already done in terms of better community care and changing the NHS Mandate to give mental health parity with physical health and finally said what he was hoping to achieve in the future.

He said:

I know that there are problems and I’m absolutely determined that we address them. We owe it to people who have mental health problems that we provide them with the best possible care that’s available to them. There are some great examples of care around the country but there are too many failures. It’s because there is institutional bias against mental health which has to end…

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A reply to Matt on welfare by Lib Dem ministers Norman Lamb and Steve Webb: “We believe in standing up for the vulnerable”

This week, Lib Dem Voice published a deeply personal account by one of our readers, Matt: I need the Liberal Democrats to stand up for me when Conservative ministers denigrate me. It was read by many in the party, including two Lib Dem ministers in the Coalition — Norman Lamb MP (Department of Health) and Steve Webb MP (Department for Work and Pensions) — who have co-authored the following response.

lamb and webb

When we read the article posted on Lib Dem Voice on Wednesday by Matt, setting out very personally the distressing and painful experiences he has faced over the past few years in trying to access the welfare and health support he needs, we felt it was important that we respond properly to what he had said.

As Liberal Democrats, we instinctively understand that divisive rhetoric is both unhelpful and inaccurate, and for both of these reasons we should all remain constantly vigilant in challenging those who use this type of language to denigrate any member of our society. We believe in standing up for the vulnerable and providing support to those who are facing personal difficulties in their lives.

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Norman Lamb MP writes…The Better Care promise – driving up standards of care across our NHS

It is clear that no single institution has done more to improve people’s lives than the NHS, and its generosity and expertise is something of which we are rightly proud. Yet events which have come to light, such as the abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View or the grave neglect of patients at Stafford Hospital, have highlighted serious problems within our health service.

This week in particular we have seen the publication of two key independent reviews on NHS care, both of which highlight areas in need of urgent improvement. The outcome of the review by Baroness Neuberger …

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Opinion: The feeling’s mutual, isn’t it?

The Coalition are feeling mutual love at the moment. A love for public service mutuals that is. A multiplicity of support programmes, funds and policy initiatives have been initiated since 2010 (although the process was technically kickstarted under New Labour), in the hope that a ‘mutual revolution’ will envelope public services and unleash a wave of latent entrepreneurialism from frontline workers. Francis Maude has expressed the rather utopian aspiration that by 2015, 1 million public sector workers will be working in one of these new public service mutuals.

On the face of it, what’s not to like about a …

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Norman Lamb MP writes…Tackling Mental Health stigma and discrimination: the NHS 65 years on

65 years ago today, the foundations of our modern National Health Service were laid based on the recommendations of a Liberal, William Beveridge. The founding principle that our NHS should always be free at the point of use endures today. The NHS now treats around a million people every 36 hours, with 300 million GP appointments each year. It is a national institution of which we are rightly proud.

However, the National Health Service is far from perfect. Significant changes are needed to cope with the challenges faced by the fact that people are living longer, and are living with an …

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Norman Lamb MP writes: Ensuring transparency and accountability in the Health Service

In recent months we have seen some shocking examples of failures of care within the health service. Tragic events such as those which occurred at the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital and the Winterbourne View Hospital have demonstrated a desperate need to ensure that people are held to account when awful things happen across the NHS and care services.

It is clear that we need to restore trust in health and care services. When a serious failing occurs it is simply unacceptable for patients and their families to be left in the dark or to feel that those responsible have not had to face …

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LibLink…Norman Lamb: What can we do to improve care in the home?

We’ve seen some awful stories in the media over the last few weeks about poor standards of home care. Norman Lamb has been writing in the Guardian about what the Government can do to ensure that everyone has good quality care.

First he outlines the problems:

One of the most common complaints I come across is where care is carried out by the clock. Carers will come to the house and have a time slot of around 15 minutes to get everything done and be off to the next appointment. But 15 minutes may not be enough to do what is needed.

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Helena Morrissey’s Report: No excuses – we have to do what she says and do it well

helena morrissey reportMy co-editor Stephen Tall has already published his first thoughts and a follow up post outlining where praise is due, which I agree with pretty much entirely. I’ve now emerged from my trip to London and subsequent burial under a pile of things that need to be stuffed into envelopes to add a few random thoughts of my own.

“A missed opportunity”

Norman Lamb started to draw up procedures for dealing with harassment in 2003. This work was never completed. Morrissey says:

Lamb is unsure why the drafted procedures were

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Welfare reform: what should the Lib Dems do?

This much I think I know… Cuts to the overall welfare budget are inescapable: it accounts for too large a chunk of of public spending for it to be immune — certainly if the NHS, schools and overseas aid budgets are to be protected at the same time as spending is reduced.

These cuts would be happening whichever party was in power, though doubtless the precise methods would differ. The IFS’s verdict in 2010 on what they termed Labour’s “fiscal drift” was stark: “By the eve of the financial crisis … the UK one of the largest structural …

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Norman Lamb, Newsnight and Jeremy Paxman’s bedpan

Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb wrote about the Government’s response to the Francis Report for this site yesterday. Later he was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight. Paxman started by asking how long it would take before the NHS is fit for purpose.

Norman replied:

We have to recognise that a lot of fantastic work goes on in the NHS

Most people who work in health and care do so because they want to care for people

We shouldn’t denigrate NHS because of what’s happened in this one report, but anyone who cares passionately about the NHS has to face up the

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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.

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Opinion: Mental health provision in the NHS – share your experiences

After having written previous articles about delegate Sarah Yong’s motion on under provision in mental health, my own experiences with mental health, and the recent statements by Ed Miliband regarding Labour’s policy on mental health,  I want to add a final footnote to the series.

It is clear from comments on this website that Liberal

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The Independent View: Hope yet for parity esteem for mental health issues

Mihir Magudia is Head of Strategy & Public Affairs for St Andrew’s Healthcare, the UK’s largest mental health charity that provides more services to the NHS than any other charity. On his blog, Spotlight, he praises Norman Lamb for signalling “parity of esteem” between mental health and physical health treatment at a recent conference:

…Norman Lamb went further than his predecessors. After rightly pointing out that people with mental health problems suffer from an institutional disadvantage in the health system (mentioning how they have been ignored by the reforms on waiting times, choice and payment by results) he went on to call

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Opinion: We must make the Care and Support Bill a reality

Much of the talk at the Autumn Conference in Brighton has rightly centred on the economy and we, in my opinion, are rightly sticking to Plan A and not being deviated towards Plan B or Plan V.

However, we as Liberal Democrats in government and on the ground have another area of policy in which we can make a significant and lasting change in this parliament. Social Care is not a sexy subject, it is not often at the forefront of people’s minds nor does it command a full chamber in parliament but it is vital to a liberal, fair and …

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Transfer deadline day: Laws, Brake, Foster & Swinson in, Burstow, Teather, Harvey & Stunell out, Clarke loan finishes

I love reshuffle days, they’re just like transfer deadline day. You sit there at your office computer pretending to work while secretly updating the Guardian live blog to see who your side has brought in and let go.

So, have we strengthened the side for the second half of the season or left gaping holes in our defence?

Well, we have managed to hold on to all our big players – Cable, Alexander, Davey and Moore – and, despite losing his place to Alexander after his suspension early in the season, we now have a fighting fit Laws back and ready …

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LibLink: Norman Lamb – How can we bring consumer law into the digital age?

Norman LambWriting for Which? in his capacity as consumer affairs minister, here’s what Norman Lamb had to say about his hopes for improving consumer protection:

I want to develop a single, comprehensive set of shoppers’ rights, which sets out in plain English, all the rights and remedies that consumers have. The intention is to drive up business standards and help you settle issues much more quickly and easily.

At the start of July we launched a consultation seeking your views on proposals to strengthen the law on goods, services, and digital

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Norman Lamb: “I am incredibly excited by the prospect of establishing a mutual Post Office”

Following a consultation, the government has announced its intention to press ahead with proposals to mutualise Post Offices. Here’s what Norman Lamb – who has previously set out his vision for the future of Post Offices here on the Voice – had to say, as reported by the Independent:

Post Office branches are relied upon by communities the length and breadth of the country.

That is why we have committed £1.34 billion of funding to the business and why there will be no closure programme under this Government. I want to make sure that the Post Office becomes a successful

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Norman Lamb: an extraordinary encounter with Fred Michel

It was Norman Lamb’s turn to appear before the Leveson Inquiry this afternoon. He dropped a bombshell in the form of handwritten notes (which you can see here) that he made of a meeting with Fred Michel of News International in 2010. The transcript is:

Wed 27/10
0900 meeting Fred Michel News International. An extraordinary encounter. FM is very
charming. He tells me News Int. papers will land on VC’s desk in next 2 weeks. They are
certain there are no grounds for referral. They realise the political pressures. He wants things
to run smoothly. They have been supportive of

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LDV poll: Vince or Tim are Lib Dem members’ top choices for leader in event of vacancy

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 560 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

28% choose Vince, 21% tip Tim: how you voted

Yesterday we reported the finding that 34% of Lib Dem members surveyed thought Nick Clegg should step down as party leader before the 2015 general election compared to 59% who thought he should stay to fight it. Today we report the hypothetical question we then posed: who should take up the reins if for …

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LibLink: Norman Lamb on the coalition – ‘It’s our national duty’

The new edition of House magazine features an extended interview with Norman Lamb, written by Sam Macrory.

Norman features on the cover, with the strapline “The business minister on why ‘flunking’ the coalition is not an option”.

The interview took place on election day, so Norman had thoughts for those facing tough polling fights, while defending the coaltion:

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LibLink: Norman Lamb – Business can be a powerful force for good

Over at PoliticsHome, Lib Dem business minister Norman Lamb says business can be a powerful force for good in society, and insists responsible practice is central to his vision. Here’s an excerpt:

Business is not just about turning a profit and creating wealth. It can, and should also be a powerful force for good in our society. Through responsible behaviour, business can help regenerate communities, develop people’s skills, and produce the innovative products and services that improve our wellbeing.

Posted in LibLink | 6 Comments

A story, a story, my kingdom for a story

Neil Stockley has often, and rightly, written about the power of stories in conveying a political message. A dry recital of bullet points and decimal points may make for a good conference motion or a useful background briefing document. What it does not make for is a message that will move and convince people. It needs a story to bring it to life.

Last week I heard Norman Lamb talking to Twickenham and Richmond Liberal Democrats, at a fundraiser for Munira Wilson’s GLA campaign. His speech neatly illustrated the point. As he was getting into the flow, he veered …

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Major investment in Post Offices announced

The BBC reports:

More than 6,000 branches of the Post Office are to be revamped by the government in the next three years.

An investment programme costing £1.34bn will modernise the sub-branches…

The government repeated its pledge that there would be no further closures of post office branches…

The postal affairs minister, Norman Lamb, said: “This government has made a commitment that there will be no closure programme and invested £1.34bn to secure the long term future of the Post Office.

“However, change is needed to secure the long term future of post offices; the pilots are showing the new ‘locals’ and ‘mains’ models

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Is your local party taking part in the Mid-Term Review?

It is hard to believe but we are shortly to approach the half-way point in this Parliament. It seems a very long time ago that the Coalition Agreement was negotiated and voted on at the Special Conference at the NEC in Birmingham. That document articulated several goals including deficit reduction and being the greenest government ever.

Having been in government for a little under two years, the time has come to take stock and consider what has been achieved thus far and what more there is to be done.

At Federal Conference in Birmingham, Norman Lamb MP ran a consultation session on …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 7 Comments



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