Sir, Masuma Rahim in her article of November 28, Clegg’s mental health provision promises, argues that the Lib Dems in the Coalition Government have not delivered for people suffering mental health issues. This is not the case.
I’m glad that Rahim acknowledges the work Lib Dem ministers have been doing to raise the profile of Mental Health Services on the political agenda; using £400 million to help people with mental health problems get the right support early on, such as talking or psychological therapies; and introducing waiting limits, so people will know for the first time how long they have to wait for mental health treatment.
The Coalition Government was forced to make difficult decisions upon taking power in 2010, following one of the largest ever falls in GDP since records began, and inheriting a huge budget deficit from the previous government. Despite this, the Coalition has honoured its pledge to protect overall health spending in real terms; and increased it by 3.9% since taking power in 2010.
The NHS is a hugely valued public service that we need to continue to support and protect as much as possible. That’s why I’m delighted that Lib Dem ministers are pushing for an extra £1.5bn of investment in the NHS this winter, and have committed to increase the NHS budget by £1bn in real terms in the years 2016/17 and 2017/18.
Mahmud Henry Rogers
Lib Dem MP Candidate for Bedford & Kempston