The Liberal Democrats will earmark £1bn in the party’s manifesto to tackle the “historic injustice” faced by people with mental ill health in an effort to cut waiting times and reduce the number of suicides, the party’s health spokesperson has announced.
It comes after Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, revealed last week his party, if elected, would inject £6bn into health and social care services by increasing income tax by a penny for every worker.
In an attempt to “rescue the NHS and social care” the party will ring-fence £1bn of this fund for mental health services with a particular concentration on improving waiting times for young people and pregnant women suffering from mental ill health.
Norman Lamb, the party’s health spokesperson, said the Lib Dems are committed to ending the “historic injustice” against people with mental ill health in Britain. “Under the Conservative Government, services have been stretched to breaking point at a time when the prevalence of mental ill health appears to be rising,” he said.
He continued: “Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have outlined how thy will fund mental health services. We’ve made it clear that our priorities will be funded from our ambitious plan to inject £6bn a year into the NHS with an additional penny on income tax.
“We will invest in improving waiting time standards for mental health care in the NHS, end the scandalous use of force against people with mental ill health and prioritise the national action to dramatically reduce the number of people who take their own lives.”
The announcement comes after Ms May pledged an extra 10,000 staff to work in NHS mental services but failed to elaborate on how the positions will be funded. “On my first day in Downing Street last July, I described shortfalls in mental health services as one of the burning injustices in our country,” Ms May said.
“It is abundantly clear to me that the discriminatory use of a law passed more than three decades ago is a key part of the reason for this.
“So today I am pledging to rip up the 1983 Act and introduce in its place a new law which finally confronts the discrimination and unnecessary detention that takes place too often.Reuse content