Norman Lamb praised in Cosmo…

Norman Lamb

Could we be on the brink of a huge  mental health breakthrough?

So asks no less a publication than Cosmopolitan in an article citing how Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb has been making the weather on ensuring that the NHS has the money it needs in the future and for saying that improving mental health treatment is one of the key aims for the next Parliament.

Over the past ten years, there’s been a 77% rise in self–harm admissions to hospital among women under the age of 25, and young women are most likely to suffer from eating disorders. We’re also twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety disorders, and one in four women will require treatment for depression at some time in her life. So it makes sense that the NHS needs urgent help to make these changes, doesn’t it?

Well, today it looks like change could finally be happening, thanks to an open letter written by Liberal Democrat MP and Minister of State for Care and Support Norman Lamb. The letter – written to Conservative MP and Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, as well as Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham – asks the other parties to match the Lib Dem’s commitment of £8b a year extra NHS funding by 2020 (the amount needed by the NHS to make changes, according to NHS CEO Simon Stevens).

In the letter, Norman emphasises the mounting pressure the NHS is under – with 400,000 extra patients visiting A&E last year compared to 2013 – and calls on his Conservative and Labour counterparts to put aside their political differences, and prioritise investments for mental health services and preventing ill health (something we firmly agree with here at Cosmo).

“This is a major breakthrough,” agrees Mind spokesperson Laura Nuttall, 24, from Lincolnshire, who is currently fronting a petition for better mental health funding. “As a teenager I was hospitalised for over two years with mental illness, and I still suffer from ongoing problems. Luckily, I received really good care, but I was completely naïve to the fact that many people don’t – it’s shocking.

I bet that Norman never thought for a minute that he’d end up in the pages of Cosmo.

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  • “….The letter – written to Conservative MP and Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt…”

    So let me see if I understand this.
    The junior health minister Norman Lamb has “written a letter” to the Secretary of State for Health , Jeremy Hunt ?

    How odd. Have they stopped talking to each other? Do they no longer meet regularly at DH HQ or bump into each other on the front bench in the Commons for Health Debates or misterial questions?

    Has the e-mail system in DH broken down?

    Does being in Coalition, being “party of Government” only mean that our front bench Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Health can now merely “write a letter” to the Conservative front bench spokesperson on health? He could have done that in opposition.

    Surely a brief look at the budget figures for health spending over the next few years would have saved the need for a letter ( remember that Autumn Statement which Nick Clegg was proud to be Joint author?)

    The planned spending on the NHS by Danny Alexander in the Treasury is exactly the same as the planned expenditure of the Conservative Chancellor and that £8 billion is not going to the NHS.
    If it is going anywhere it is going on Trident, or a new mlitary base in Bahrain, or tax cuts for the rich, or foreign trips for the Duke of York. Did nobody tell Norman Lamb?

    If somebody had told him, Norman Lamb would have been saved the trouble of picking up a goose quill and parchment and penning a letter to his boss Jeremy Hunt.

  • Simon McGrath 17th Jan '15 - 5:24pm

    “Surely a brief look at the budget figures for health spending over the next few years would have saved the need for a letter”

    You mean the health spending which has not been cut at all in real terms. Plus of course the increase in the number of clinical staff working in the NHS ?

  • Simon McGrath

    Which of the words “Budget Figures” do you have difficulty comprehending?

    Let me put it in small words for you. There is a plan. A plan to spend cash. The plan is Norman Lamb’s and Nick Cegg’s plan. It is the same plan as The CONSERVATIVE plan.

    Does that help you to undertstand or would you like me to paint you a picture?

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