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Mental Health

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the ability of patients with (a) mental illness and (b) learning difficulties to access (i) NHS emergency treatment and (ii) respite care; and if he will make a statement; (177018)

(2) what assessment he has made of the ability of carers of patients with (a) mental illness and (b) learning difficulties to access NHS emergency treatment.

In 2003 we published guidance entitled “Improving the Management of Patients with Mental Ill Health in Emergency Care”. This provides practical support and guidance for those working in accident and emergency departments, mental health trusts and ambulance trusts to help improve the care of patients with mental illness when they access emergency care. We have not published similar guidance for people with learning disabilities.

The Carers Grant, which we introduced in 1999, provides financial support for carers to have breaks and to provide respite care. The Grant, which is worth £185 million in 2007-08 and £224 million in 2008-09, includes £25 million from which councils can provide emergency cover for carers. We have also issued guidance to councils about using this additional funding. We want to ensure that each council is able to provide short-term cover for carers in emergency situations, and that these monies are available for carers of people with mental illness, learning disabilities and all other conditions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2007, Official Report, column 1318W, on mental health and employment: meeting the challenge, how much of the £173 million will be spent in each year to 2010-12. (177240)

The comprehensive spending review (CSR) covers the period to 2010-11. Additional investment in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, identified in the CSR 2007-10 will be in excess of £300 million, with an investment of £33 million in 2008-09, £103 million in 2009-10, rising to £173 million by 2010-11.