The Conservative Party mental health spokesperson has called for
the NHSto prioritise mental health care.
Speaking at a fringe meeting at the party’s annual conference in
Blackpool this week, Tim Loughton said the draft mental health bill
was “fatally flawed, misconceived and unworkable” and lacked a
social care perspective. He said he hoped the government would
listen to the concerns raised in consultation “because we need a
bill that is helping people – not locking them up”.
He also apologised for comments made by the party chairperson
Theresa May in her speech after she used the terms “loonies” and
“nutters”. Loughton said he would make a “part apology” because,
while he understood their concerns, May had been referring to the
Monster Raving Loony Party not mental health service users.
Earlier, shadow health secretary Liam Fox had announced that a
Conservative government would introduce “patient passports” to
enable patients to receive free care anywhere within the NHS. If
the patient decided to go outside the NHS, they would still receive
60 per cent of the NHS cost to help pay for their treatment.
Loughton said he would like to see such a system apply to NHS
mental health treatment.