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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

"Unacceptable" Tory record on young mental health

The doubling number of young people admitted to A&E with psychiatric conditions over the last five years is unacceptable - Norman Lamb

The Liberal Democrats have today called for the Government to stick to its commitment of extra investment in children and young people’s mental health services after the number of A&E admissions with psychiatric conditions have soared. A total of 14,917 children and young people with psychiatric conditions were admitted in 2014 -2015, this compares to 6,950 in 2010 -2011.

During the Tory/Lib Dem coalition the Liberal Democrats say they secured £1.25bn of new funding to transform children and young people’s mental health services. This amounts to around £250 million in every year of the current parliament – but the Government has only allocated £143 million in this financial year 2015-16.

Health Spokesperson Norman Lamb said: "These are deeply shocking figures which expose the true scale of the mental health challenge facing young people in this country."

Criticising the current government Mr Lamb said: "The Government is failing to support children and young people by not delivering the investment that was agreed before the General Election. In March 2015, Nick Clegg and I announced £1.25 billion to be spent over five years on improving young people’s mental health services, but the Government has already underspent by £107 million in the first year."

Continuing  Mr Lamb said: "This is unacceptable, and these latest figures show the need for urgent investment in preventative services and community care to stop young people from reaching crisis point. It also shows the absolute need to introduce the same right to get treatment on a timely basis for children and young people suffering mental ill health as others enjoy."

"I am calling on the Government to make up the shortfall immediately, and to deliver on its promise to provide the full £1.25bn over the next five years." Norman Lamb added.