Fenland MP Steve Barclay has welcomed news of £7 million of extra government funding for mental health services – and asked how it will help rural communities.
The North East Cambridgeshire MP raised the issue in a Parliamentary question after pointing out that 65 per cent of children in Fenland wait more than 18 weeks for access to mental health services.
Mr Barclay, who is pushing for better mental health services, especially for young people, as part of his on-going ‘Treat Me Local’ health campaign, was concerned to learn how long young people are waiting just for an assessment.
Norman Lamb, Minister for Care and Support, promised to give a written answer to Mr Barclay’s question and pointed out for the first time access and waiting time standards are being introduced in mental health, including in children’s mental health.
He said: “Until now, there has been discrimination at the heart of the NHS. Labour introduced waiting time and access standards, but left out mental health. I am proud the coalition is correcting it.”
Mr Barclay added: “The extra funding for mental health is welcome news, but I am interested to see how rural communities like ours will benefit.”
For more information on the ‘Treat Me Local’ health campaign visit: www.treatmelocal.net