Rachael Maskell MP
Rachael Maskell MP

Today, Rachael Maskell MP, was called at Prime Minister’s Question Time to ask a question in response to the scale of issues she is dealing with from constituents in York in relation to mental health challenges they and their families are facing. York Central’s MP highlighted the state of the services, which she described as “in crisis”.

However, at the same time, Rachael Maskell highlighted how Government are failing to act. There is a severe shortage of NHS staff working across mental health services in the city and nationally, due to poor workforce planning by Government.  This has not been helped by the recent pay dispute, where staff feel undervalued and underpaid, with many leaving the NHS.

Ministers have prepared a report on the wider challenges of NHS mental health services in the region.  In previous discussions with Health Ministers the MP was told that this rests with the Secretary of State, however months later, no action has been taken. Rachael Maskell therefore called for a meeting with Government Ministers and the Trust to address the national and local failings across the service but recognises that other agencies also have a vital role to play in turning the situation around.

Rachael Maskell MP says:

 “I have been in intense talks with Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Yorks mental health providers, over recent months responding to many of the cases that York residents have brought to me. I know that staff are working harder than ever, and many new initiatives have been started to provide comprehensive services across the city. This has been no easy task against a backdrop of national staffing shortages and low pay and morale amongst staff.  Government have yet again failed to recognise the contribution that staff have made and dished out further real terms pay cuts this year.

“However, I have to also acknowledge that there have been some acute gaps in the service with diagnostic times delayed and some people who are very ill not getting the support they need when they hit crisis point. In asking my question today, the Trust has also given me assurances that they will ensure that patient and family concerns are addressed. We will work together, with the other agencies who provide support for people with mental health challenges to ensure that people in York get the very best of care.

Rachael Maskell MP asked:

“Crisis Mental Health Services are in crisis.  Patients and families gaslit and at risk. It is Mental Health Awareness week, but no Government awareness to ensure my constituents are safe and funding and workforce needs are met. So why is his Government sat on their hands, with a devastating report sat on the Health Secretary’s desk, while patients in York and across the NHS are failed. Can I and the Trust have a meeting.”

The Deputy Prime Minister, at his first PMQ, responded saying that a meeting would be granted.


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