Mental Health Measure delay condemned

Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, has condemned a new timetable for implementation of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure.


‘Revised dates’ have come to light in a letter to local health boards from a Welsh government official.


The commencement of Part One has been pushed back to October 2012 and Parts Two and Three to June 2012.


Official WAG guidance to LHBs – published in January this year – included earlier start dates.


Mr Millar said: “Given the importance of these issues – and the cross-party consensus on this Measure – this delay is unforgiveable.


“Welsh Conservatives fought hard to secure this Measure in the previous Assembly.


“Our Mental Health LCO paved the way for the Assembly to make laws to ensure earlier assessment and treatment. That’s vitally important and it needs to be implemented as a matter of priority – not postponed.


“Mental health admissions have been growing since 2006 and one in ten adults in Wales suffers from a mental illness. This obviously remains a critical issue and I am extremely discouraged to see these start dates delayed.


“The Welsh Labour government is cutting the health budget by a billion pounds over the next three years and I believe cost is playing a key role in this hold-up.


“Ministers should reverse these cuts and review their government’s priorities.”