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Mind reacts to Prime Minister speech on fit notes

Friday, 19 April 2024 Mind

In a keynote speech on Friday 19 April, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to announce plans to review the fit note system for people who aren't well enough to work.

As part of the speech the Prime Minister plans to talk about the "over medicalisation of the challenges and worries of every day life".

Dr Sarah Hughes, CEO of Mind, said: "We are deeply disappointed that the Prime Minister’s speech today continues a trend in recent rhetoric which conjures up the image of a “mental health culture” that has “gone too far”. This is harmful, inaccurate and contrary to the reality for people up and down the country. The truth is that mental health services are at breaking point following years of under investment with many people getting increasingly unwell while they wait to receive support. Indeed the Care Quality Commission’s latest figures on community mental health services show that nearly half of people (44%) waiting for treatment found their mental health deteriorated in this time.

“To imply that it is easy both to be signed-off work and then to access benefits is deeply damaging. It is insulting to the 1.9 million people on a waiting list to get mental health support, and to the GPs whose expert judgement is being called into question.

“People need to be offered tailored support from mental health professionals if they are to return to work, not face threats of losing what little money they currently have to live on. The support just isn’t there. Demonising people for failures of the systems meant to support them is incredibly unhelpful and we urge the government to reassess its approach to this issue.”

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