Barbara Keeley MP

LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

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Barbara has today written to Jeremy Hunt, following the judgment of Sir James Munby in the case of the young person referred to as X, calling on the Health Secretary to take personal action today to ensure the allocation of a supportive and safe placement for the young person X.

In the letter, Barbara urges Jeremy Hunt to take heed of the ‘scathing words in this judgment’ and take immediate action to deal with the shortcomings in our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. To achieve this, Barbara calls on the Government to announce extra funding for those services and commit to ring-fencing funding both for CAMHS and mental health services more generally.


Full text of the letter:


Dear Jeremy,

I am writing to you following the judgment of Sir James Munby in the Family Division of the High Court on 3rd August in the case of the young person referred to as X. The scathing words in this judgment stand as a warning of the need for urgent action to improve the care available for children and young people in a mental health crisis.

The judge said:

“What this case demonstrates .. is the disgraceful and utterly shaming lack of proper provision in this country of the clinical, residential and other support services so desperately needed by the increasing numbers of children and young people afflicted with the same kind of difficulties as X is burdened with…

“If this is the best we can do for X, and others in similar crisis, what right do we, what right do the system, our society and indeed the State itself, have to call ourselves civilised? The honest answer to this question should make us all feel ashamed…

“If, when in eleven days’ time she is released from ZX, we, the system, society, the State, are unable to provide X with the supportive and safe placement she so desperately needs, and if, in consequence, she is enabled to make another attempt on her life, then I can only say, with bleak emphasis: we will have blood on our hands”

On Monday of this week you defended your Government’s performance on mental health services by saying “Look at our record”. The judgment in the case of X allows us to make that examination and it finds current services seriously wanting.

There have been many reports warning of the current weaknesses of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. In a report in May 2016, the Children’s Commissioner reported that: “of particular concern were some of the 3,000 children and young people we heard about who were referred to CAMHS with a life-threatening condition (such as suicide, self-harm, psychosis and anorexia nervosa), of whom: - 14% were not allocated any provision; - 51% went on a waiting list; - Some waited over 112 days to receive services.”

In October 2016, you said that CAMHS: “is possibly the biggest single area of weakness in NHS provision at the moment” and that there were “too many tragedies”.

Sir James Munby has expressed his fears about the worst potential outcome in this case. We must also be aware of other similar and pressing cases.

I urge you to take personal action today to ensure the allocation of a supportive and safe placement for the young person X. I further urge you to make plans to deal with the shortcomings so clearly identified in our CAMHS services and to announce both extra funding for those services and plans to ring-fence funding both for CAMHS and for mental health services more generally.

As Sir James Munby has said, if the current state of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is the best we can do, what right does the State have to call itself civilised?

Given the level of public interest in this case, I will be making this letter public.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara Keeley MP
Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health

Barbara calls for urgent action to deal with shortcomings in mental health provision

Barbara has today written to Jeremy Hunt, following the judgment of Sir James Munby in the case of the young person referred to as X, calling on the Health Secretary...

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Barbara is calling on the Government to do more to support and recognise the vital contribution of unpaid family carers.

To mark Carers Week 2017 Barbara attended an event in Parliament to celebrate the contribution made by nearly 11,000 carers across Worsley and Eccles South who currently provide unpaid care for a disabled, ill or older family member or friend.

During the event Barbara spoke to a carer, Olga Budimir, and to Kate Hall from Nutricia about the difficulties of balancing work and caring and about the need for carers' leave. Barbara pledged to keep up the pressure on the Government to provide the help and support that many carers urgently need.

Barbara said:

“Carers Week is a good way to raise awareness of the challenges that unpaid carers face every day. Many unpaid family carers are finding that they have to fight to get the support they need for the person they care for, and for themselves. They should not have to battle for this help.

“The Conservative Government’s repeated failure to recognise the vital contribution of our unpaid carers is unacceptable. Many carers do not know where to turn for the help they need. Many are facing financial hardship and are living in poverty due to a lack of financial support. They should not have to do this. They should be supported in their caring role.”

“Three out of five people will be carers at some point in their lives. It is vital that the Government acts now to provide the help and support that our unpaid carers need and deserve.”

Barbara calls on the Government to recognise the crucial role of carers

Barbara is calling on the Government to do more to support and recognise the vital contribution of unpaid family carers. To mark Carers Week 2017 Barbara attended an event in...

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Barbara is calling on the Government to take urgent action to protect local home-owners who own their home as leaseholders and are finding they are being " stung" by the terms of their lease.

New government statistics show that there are four million leasehold dwellings in England.

Owners who own their home as leaseholders have no protection from soaring ground rents and unfair charges imposed for consent to carry out home alterations. They can also face steep increases in the purchase price of freeholds.

Barbara is campaigning for action to help local home-owners affected by the leasehold scandal. She has joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold Reform to raise local concerns. Barbara is calling on the Government to reform the system so that unfair practices are stopped, as Labour has now pledged to do.

Barbara said:

“The Government’s new figures show the extent of leasehold ownership in England. Owners who own their home as leaseholders are unprotected and the way that many are being treated by developers and management companies is completely unacceptable. A number of constituents have contacted me to tell me how they are being affected and about the anger and distress they feel.

“Labour wants to end these deeply unfair practices. When we were in Government we gave leaseholders more protection but it is clear that problems with leasehold continue. Urgent action is needed to help those affected.

“Labour would give leaseholders security from unfair 'ground rents' and end the routine use of leasehold ownership in new housing developments. We would cap rising charges that leaseholders have to pay to rule out the large rises that have hit some new home-owners and give leaseholders security against unforeseen rises when they come to sell their home.

“We need to see real action on this issue as soon as possible. I am calling on the Government to reform the system, as Labour has pledged to do, so that these unfair practices stop.

“If you live in Worsley and Eccles South and are one of the households affected, please let me know by sending me an email through my website here."

Barbara calls on the Government to end leasehold scandal

Barbara is calling on the Government to take urgent action to protect local home-owners who own their home as leaseholders and are finding they are being " stung" by the...


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