Margaret Greenwood MP has called for more investment in mental health services as she highlighted the “shocking and unsustainable state of affairs” that staff are facing and the “extreme pressure” that they are under.
The Wirral West MP’s intervention came in parliament during an opposition day debate which was called by Labour who highlighted how, last year in England, patients suffering with mental health issues waited more than 5.4 million hours in A&E departments.
Recent figures revealed that there are over 32,000 adults and over 15,000 children on waiting lists for mental health support in the NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care Board area.
Labour’s motion for the debate called on the government to recruit thousands of mental health staff to expand access to treatment, to provide access to specialist mental health support in every school, to establish open access mental health hubs for children and young people and to bring in the first ever long-term, whole-government plan to improve outcomes for people with mental health needs.
After the debate in the House of Commons, a vote took place on the motion, with Labour and other opposition parties supporting it. The motion, however, was defeated by 280 votes to 185, with 274 Conservative MPs voting against it.
Speaking after the debate, Margaret Greenwood MP said, “It is a matter of real concern that waiting lists for mental health treatment are so high, both locally and across the country.
“As well as that, staff working in mental health are under extreme pressure. This is causing some to leave and putting even more pressure on those who remain.
“It is a truly shocking and unsustainable state of affairs.
“This is the Conservatives’ record when it comes to mental health; they are letting down both staff who work in mental health and those people who need support.
“Labour would ensure access to mental health professionals in every school, put an open access hub in every community, recruit thousands more mental health staff and guarantee mental health treatment within a month for all who need it.
“It is clear that we need a Labour government that will take these issues seriously and invest in mental health services.”