Yesterday (7 May) at Prime Minister’s Questions, Kevan Jones asked David Cameron a question about the fall in the number of hospital beds for NHS mental health patients.
Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab): On a number of occasions the Prime Minister has raised the important issue of awareness of mental health, and I thank him for that, but can he explain why, since 2011, there has been a 30% drop in the number of mental health beds in the NHS, and is it really right that mental health patients are having to travel up to 200 miles to access a bed?
The Prime Minister: What matters in our NHS is the quality of provision and parity of esteem between physical health and mental health. This Government have not solved every problem, but we have put proper parity of esteem into the NHS constitution and the NHS mandate. We have also put in proper targets for some of the talking therapies that are absolutely vital in mental health. Measuring the output of our NHS purely by the number of beds is not a sensible approach.
The full Question Time can be read here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140507/debtext/140507-0001.htm#14050752000005