Cambridgeshire health chief welcomes Prime Minister’s mental health reforms but questions funding and care for long-term sufferers

Aidan Thomas
Aidan Thomas

A Cambridgeshire health chief has welcomed new mental health reforms announced by Theresa May but says questions over funding and care of long-term sufferers remain.

Aidan Thomas, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, which runs mental health services in the county, was responding to a speech from the Prime Minister which promised training for teachers and employers and £15 million more towards additional community care.

Mr Thomas said: “Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust welcomes any moves to improve treatment and reduce levels of stigma associated with mental ill health.

“I am very proud of the services we offer people, but the NHS can’t act alone. Improving mental health care and support is everyone’s business which is why I am particularly heartened to hear of extra training for the likes of schools and businesses.

“We work very closely with our partners including local authorities, the police, and third-sector organisations and in the last 12 months we have been part of a number of initiatives - like the extended 111 service and introducing mental health workers to the police control room – to increase support to those in mental health crisis.

“For a long time we have long lobbied for parity of esteem so mental health is granted the same level of funding as physical health and for now questions will remain over the funding of future initiatives.

“There is also the need to address the issue of those with serious and enduring long-term conditions who are not in school or employment and have been affected by cuts to social care.

“Overall, I am pleased that the Prime Minister’s comments about mental health help put the issue into sharp focus, and I hope any visions set out today will become a reality.”