Benefits, employment and the future of the NHS at the Labour Party Conference
Posted Friday 1 October 2010
After the Lib Dem's conference, the team headed off to Manchester for the Labour event. As Decca Aitkenhead analysed in The Guardian, the early days felt extremely quiet and flat. But Ed Milliband's speech brought the Conference to its feet, and suddenly it felt like the Opposition were ready to get stuck in.
This year's Mind stand at Party Conferences is focussed on our Taking Care of Business campaign, which encourages employers to protect the mental health of their staff so that work pressures do not lead to poor wellbeing and mental health problems. The long term aim of the campaign is to create mentally healthy workplaces where employers do not discriminate against people with mental health problems, and no one needs to hide their diagnosis for fear of the repercussions. It was encouraging to hear the new leader of the Labour Party mention mental health at work in his speech.
It is clear from blog and facebook comments and individuals who are working with our policy and campaigns team that there is a huge amount of concern about the impact of welfare reform changes, which is a major campaigning point for Mind. With this in mind, our meetings with MPs focused heavily on this and on the health White Paper which proposes major changes to the NHS. We put our case strongly to Anne Begg MP who chairs the Work and Pensions Select Committee and was supportive of our concerns.
Next week we meet Employment Minister Chris Grayling at the Conservative Party Conference and I'd be keen to hear your questions for him.
Paul Farmer is Mind's Chief Executive
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