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Mind responds to Health Secretary Matt Hancock's capital spending announcement at Conservative Party conference

Monday, 30 September 2019 Mind

The Government has today pledged a large amount of investment for hospital projects across England, at the start of the Conservative party conference.

The plans include a £2.7bn investment for six hospitals over five years but no mention was made of mental health buildings.

Responding to the Health Secretary’s speech, Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns Mind, the mental health charity, said:

“Pressing risks caused by sub-standard mental health facilities have been completely ignored in today’s funding announcement for NHS hospitals.

“Long-neglected NHS mental health buildings are interfering with people’s recovery and putting them at risk of suicide. The continued use of mixed sex and dormitory wards puts people in danger of sexual assault. It can’t be right we expect people with mental health problems to continue to use inadequate and often dangerous infrastructure, and we should not expect NHS mental health staff to work in these conditions.

“When the Prime Minister first announced money for building projects, we called for the mental health estate to be among the first to benefit. Its omission in the Health Secretary’s speech makes it seem like mental health has been pushed to the back of the queue. This follows previous announcements around building projects which have seen mental health barely get a mention.

“Having a key government announcement of funding for hospitals with no inclusion of mental health is woefully out of touch. The public now rightly expect mental health facilities to be as much of a priority as those for physical health.

“There is no time to waste, the Government must urgently bring the NHS mental health estate into the 21st century. Unless, of course, it has now decided that mental health is no longer such a burning injustice.”

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