Video: Health minister Norman Lamb misleads the house over mental health spending

Health minister ignores his own evidence that shows mentally ill children are suffering from spending cuts

 

The last Health Questions of this parliament took place this morning, giving ministers a final chance to pose their questions to Jeremy Hunt and his health team.

Labour’s shadow minister Luciana Berger asked the Lib Dem Health Minister Norman Lamb about the huge rise of young people with mental illnesses appearing at A&E. Young people are clearly not getting the help they need early enough, and so are allowed to become progressively more unwell until they need hospital care.

Berger asked:

“Does the minister accept that this government’s decision to cut children’s mental health services at the same time as wasting £3 billions on a reorganisation has been a key factor in this failure?”

Norman Lamb replied:

“This government has absolutely not made any decision to cut children’s mental health services. [Berger] knows that it’s misleading to suggest that that’s the case.”

However, parliamentary figures show that it is indeed the case. In 2009-10, aggregate spending in real terms on child and adolescent mental health services was £766 million.

Since then it has decreased every year, and spending in 2012-13 was £717. This data was provided in December by Lamb himself, who was answering Andy Burnham’s question on child mental health spending over the course of the parliament.

Norman Lamb

 

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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