Today at Prime Minister's Question Time, I asked Cameron to support my call for the local mental health trust to stop withholding a damning report it commissioned which raises serious questions about patient safety and care due to cuts to services.
By the time of the next election, funding for our local mental health services will have been cut by £80,000,000 since the Tories came to power in 2010. So it's totally unsurprising that when Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust asked its own Norwich-based staff about the impact of changes introduced to mitigate the cuts, those staff were highly critical of the changes and the serious damage it is having on the people they serve.
Since the report was completed, the Trust have refused to publish it – using as one of its excuses the completely counter-intuitive claim that had staff known the report might be published then they wouldn't have been so frank in their criticisms.
Let's be clear about this: deteriorating mental health services in our city are ultimately down to swingeing Tory cuts in funding for NHS mental health services. Cuts that have been made at the same time as the Tories have reduced annual tax for corporations by £4bn and for the richest 1% of individuals by £3bn. And now they are going further – the £7bn of personal tax cuts promised by the Tories in run-up to the General Election mean overwhelmingly handing over yet more cash to the already rich as our public services are slashed.
Mental health staff know exactly what the impact is of this unfairness on the people they help. The Trust should publish this report so their voices are heard and, together, we can hold Cameron and co to account.