Debates between James Morris and Maria Caulfield during the 2019 Parliament

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between James Morris and Maria Caulfield
Tuesday 5th December 2023

(5 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Maria Caulfield Portrait Maria Caulfield
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The hon. Member is absolutely right: we know that in Sussex we have higher rates of mental health illness than in many other parts of the country, with a 15% increase in Sussex A&E attendances. He might not be aware of them, but multiple schemes are available in Sussex. Health in Mind is offering psychological support to those suffering stress and anxiety, which can be self-referred. We have the Sussex mental health crisis line, now open 24/7, which is accessed via the 111 service. We have mental health professionals rolling out the blue light triage service in Sussex, and we have the Brighton and Hove mental health rapid response service, open 24/7, to which anyone can refer themselves urgently. Perhaps if he looks at some of the services provided locally, he will be able to reassure his constituents.

James Morris Portrait James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) (Con)
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The Minister mentioned the importance of parity of esteem, and she is quite right, but it is disappointing that the Government had a manifesto commitment in 2017 and 2019 to reform the Mental Health Act 1983, which they have not fulfilled, with no such Bill in the King’s Speech. Would the Minister agree with me that the issues that existed prior to 2017 in relation to the Mental Health Act still exist today with the disproportionate number of black and minority ethnic people being sectioned under that Act, and people with learning disabilities and autism kept in inappropriate settings? Can she give any encouragement to those of us who want to see that reformed, particularly in relation to the appointment of a mental health commissioner to oversee changes to the Act and to advocate for the parity of esteem that she is looking for?

Maria Caulfield Portrait Maria Caulfield
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It remains our intention to bring forward a mental health Bill when parliamentary time allows. We have the draft Mental Health Bill, which we have put through pre-legislative scrutiny. We are looking at the report from the Joint Committee and will be responding to that shortly.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between James Morris and Maria Caulfield
Tuesday 24th January 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Maria Caulfield Portrait Maria Caulfield
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Local healthcare decisions are made by local commissioning groups, but I am happy to raise that on behalf of the hon. Lady. We are putting an additional £2.3 billion a year into expanding and transforming mental health services in the community and patient services.

James Morris Portrait James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) (Con)
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Although I welcome the new investment in emergency mental health services that was announced this week, does the Secretary of State agree that we must not lose sight of the fact that we need a long-term plan for the transformation of mental health services so that we achieve parity of esteem between mental and physical health in the NHS?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between James Morris and Maria Caulfield
Tuesday 1st November 2022

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Maria Caulfield Portrait Maria Caulfield
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I have highlighted that there are additional pressures—more children and young people are coming forward with mental health conditions—but I assure the hon. Gentleman that we are putting early intervention directly into schools. Mental health support teams now cover 26% of pupils, with the aim of going up to 35% of pupils by April, and we intend to increase that further. So we are getting in as early as possible. Over 420,000 children and young people were treated through NHS-commissioned services in the last financial year. There is more to be done, but we have made a good start.

James Morris Portrait James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) (Con)
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There is a real danger that prioritisation of mental health services is not what it was a few years ago. Does the Minister agree that we need to take urgent action on workforce development and other measures to increase capacity for mental health services, so we do not let down the hundreds of thousands of young people who are on the waiting lists? We need to take action now.

Maria Caulfield Portrait Maria Caulfield
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I agree and we are taking action now. Our aim is to expand the mental health workforce by an additional 27,000 healthcare professionals by 2023-24. We have already seen an increase—almost 6,900 more full-time equivalent staff. The workforce are the key to that, which is why are investing in them so heavily.