Julian Huppert MP has welcomed the signing today of a new agreement between the police and the NHS that seeks to improve mental health crisis care.
This project was initiated nationally by Minister of State for Care and Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb who in February announced that 22 organisations had already signed up to it.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough's local mental health Crisis Care Concordat sets out the principles that the NHS and emergency services will seek to implement to improve the system of care and support people with mental health conditions in a crisis. The principles include working together through prevention and early intervention, developing ways of sharing information to enable front line staff to provide coordinated support to people in mental health crisis.
The declaration also supports the principle of parity of esteem, where mental health is valued equally with physical health, by seeking to create a shared care pathway to safely support, assess and manage anyone who asks any of the organisations for help in a mental health crisis.
Julian said: "It is fantastic that Norman Lamb's mental health initiative is already being taken forward locally. Mental health has been the poor sister of physical health in the UK for far too long, and crisis care is perhaps the most stark example of this lack of equality.
"It is completely unacceptable in my view that while we have 4-hour waiting times in A&E a young person who experiences their first psychotic episode can sometimes wait for months before they receive any support. The Crisis Care Concordat is the strongest statement yet that this must change. It seeks to ensure that urgent and compassionate care in a safe place is provided to those experiencing a mental health crisis.
He added: "This won't happen overnight, but what the Concordat should do is to bring together the vast amount of work that is already being done by local organisations and give it a much sharper focus and urgency. I hope that it results in a list of practical actions as soon as possible.
"I will also continue to make the case that improving mental health care means that a transfer of resources must take place within the NHS and extra funding will be needed while this transition takes place. We have one of the most underfunded NHS areas in the UK because of a model that we inherit from Labour; more money is needed to support the transition to a more community and prevention-oriented service.”