Cameron criticised over mental health omission

Conservative leader David Cameron failed to mention his party’s plans for mental health policy during a wide-ranging speech on NHS reform last week.

The Rethink charity has written to Mr Cameron expressing disappointment that his speech covered 16 issues, including infectious diseases and accident and emergency services, but failed to mention mental health.

This is despite it being the biggest single spending area in the NHS, taking up nearly a third of GPs’ time.

The letter says: “We were disappointed that in a speech discussing the future of the NHS and how to deliver a standard of quality healthcare that matches patient expectations, mental healthcare was not mentioned once.”

One mental health trust chief executive was reported in the Health Service Journal as saying he was “greatly worried” that the Conservatives had so far said little about mental health, given their chances of winning next year’s general election.

“We don’t want to be misleading clinicians by saying we’re going to develop services and then have to backtrack,” the chief executive told the magazine.

A Conservative Party spokeswoman said Mr Cameron was away due to the parliamentary recess but would respond to the Rethink letter in due course.

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