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Tweet campaign after Ministers ‘don’t know’

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Luciana Berger, mental heath matters, 30 tweets, no answers from governmentBut report said around three-quarters of people with mental health problems received no help at all.

The current UK government is struggling to answer important questions on mental health, despite claims that it wants to parity between mental health and physical health.

That is why, every day this month, Luciana Berger, Labour & Cooperative MP for Liverpool Wavertree, is going to be tweeting the questions she has asked the government in her role as Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health and that it has failed to answer.

The questions included waiting times for mental health treatment, the number of specialist doctors and nurses and the number of patients who have died in inpatient mental health care.

Shockingly, in the answers to all 30 of her questions, Ministers reported that the government does not collect the information.

But if no one knows what is happening in mental health, how can the government claim that it is meeting any of its promises?

These alarming revelations followed a speech by David Cameron in which he claimed to be leading a ‘revolution in mental health treatment in Britain’ after a report by a taskforce set up by NHS England said around three-quarters of people with mental health problems received no help at all.

And Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has even talked about a supposed ‘transparency revolution’ going on in the NHS.

The government’s failure to answer Berger’s questions, she says, underlines the gap between what Conservative Ministers say about mental health and what they actually do.

It is not even collecting basic data.

It is absolutely appalling, for exampe, as Berger pointed out, that Ministers have no idea how many new mums have taken their own lives because of mental health problems, how many people diagnosed with mental illness go to prison, or how many children have died in NHS mental health units.

How, she asked, can ministers claim to be focussing on mental health when they don’t have an accurate picture of what is actually happening on the ground?

These findings cast further doubt over the current government’s ability to deliver what they have promised and make mental health the real priority it deserves to be.

Follow her questions each day this month by clicking here or following #mentalhealthmatters

To read the report, The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, click here.

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