Gareth Thomas students
Gareth Thomas students

Gareth Thomas, Member of Parliament for Harrow West has released data showing the huge numbers of local people stuck on mental health waiting lists, as calls grow for the Government to address their failed handling of mental health services across the country.

Since 2010, the Conservative Government have cut one-in-four mental health beds across the country, as waiting times for treatment have soared. Across the Harrow Based Partnership, there were 12485 children on waiting lists in December and 50,365 adults.

Many mental health services are at breaking point after 13 years of Conservative Government – staff are overstretched, and NHS services have been neglected for over a decade. The result is that hundreds of thousands of people are turned away from services without having any treatment. Across the Harrow Based Partnership ICB in December, 11,740 referrals were closed before the patient received any treatment, a staggering number.

Labour has a plan to tackle these problems, by recruiting thousands more mental health staff, guaranteeing treatment within a month, providing access to a mental health professional in every school. Last week, during Mental Health Awareness Week, Gareth Thomas met with students from Harrow schools to discuss Labour’s new mental health policies and the demand for mental health intervention. Video:

Gareth Thomas, Member of Parliament for Harrow West, said:

“These figures demonstrate just how much our community, and our children, are suffering after 13 years of Conservative government. Children should not be languishing in A&E because they can’t receive treatment in the community.

“Our children deserve better – it’s why the next Labour Government will enshrine a preventative approach to mental health, opening mental health hubs for children and young people locally and making sure that all of our local schools have access to a mental health professional.”

Primesh Patel, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Harrow East, said:

“Waiting lists are soaring and patients are left receiving inadequate treatment, all as a result of the Government failing on children’s mental health. Once again, it’s the most vulnerable paying the price for the Tories’ shocking neglect.

I’ve spent my career working in the NHS and social care and I know the impact Tory Governance is having on children’s and adult’s mental health. Labour will ensure access to mental health professionals in every school and put an open access hub in every community, funded by closing tax loopholes. This is in addition to guaranteeing mental health treatment within a month for all who need it, by recruiting thousands of new mental health staff.”


Notes to editors:
Latest IAPT referrals closed before treatment is found broken down by Sub ICB here: report-on-the-use-of-iapt-services/december-2022-final-including-a-report-on-the-iapt- employment-advisers-pilot

Numbers have been calculated by adding together all the sub ICB numbers for each areas using the following metrics:

-Count_EndedBeforeTreatment -Count_EndedNotSeen -Count_EndedSeenNotTreated -Count_EndedBeforeAssessment

For Children and Adults on waiting lists, NHS Digital data can be found here: monthly-statistics/performance-december-2022-provisional-january-2023

The total per annum cost of Labour mental health policy package by 2028/29 (the last year of Labour’s first term in office) would be an estimated £1.016bn. This will be paid for through the following fiscal measures:

-Scrapping the “carried interest loophole”, a tax loophole enjoyed by a small number of private equity fund managers, which would raise £440 million per annum to fund an expansion in the mental health workforce.
-Levying VAT on private school fees, which would raise £1.7bn per annum in total, £576m of which would be used to fund mental health hubs and specialist mental health support in schools.

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