CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

BUSINESS QUESTION – MENTAL HEALTH – 25 May 2006

Dr Julian Lewis: May I appeal to the Leader of the House to secure from the Secretary of State for Health, whom I am pleased to see in the Chamber, a statement on the dangerous decision by the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust to close the Emergency Centre at the Maudsley Hospital? It is one of the few places in the country offering a walk-in service to people suffering a serious psychotic or suicidally depressive episode. It has been said that such people will now have to go to an ordinary accident and emergency unit, which will be potentially lethal for them and distressing for the other people in the unit. Can this be examined as a matter of urgency?

[Jack Straw: I am sure that the arrangements being made in respect of the Maudsley hospital are more than adequate to meet the needs of those patients. I must say to the hon. Gentleman, as I have said repeatedly to Opposition Members who raise these issues, that, had it not been for our spending plans – which were opposed by every single Conservative Member year after year – none of the improvements in the health service would have taken place.]

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