Hart questions whether “momentum” in improving mental health services can be maintained

Health and Social Services Minister Edwina Hart AM has stated that while mental health remains a key priority for the Welsh Assembly Government the issue of whether “momentum” in delivering key priorities can be sustained is open to question.

Ms Hart’s comments came following a question raised by Helen Mary Jones AM, Chair of the National Assembly’s Children and Young People Committee in the Senedd.

The exchange was as follows:

Helen Mary Jones: Can you confirm that one of your major priorities for the remainder of this Assembly will be to ensure that the new mental health legislation can be delivered effectively, and that the funding, particularly for children and young people’s mental health services, and the developments that are planned, will not be too adversely affected by the current economic climate?

Edwina Hart: Mental health remains a key priority, as does the development of mental health facilities. We have a good track record on delivering capital projects in that area. As I indicated to the Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee this morning, it will be a question of looking at priorities, and seeing whether we can keep the momentum up in this area. However, ring fencing, and the robust approach that we have taken to mental health expenditure, will make a difference. As I indicated when we took the mental health legislation through, it was a joy to take it through, and we had excellent cross-party support for it. That means that the outside world will be watching to ensure that the resource is in place to make the legislation a reality.

To read the full session debate please visit: http://www.assemblywales.org/bus-home/bus-chamber/bus-chamber-third-assembly-rop.htm?act=dis&id=203895&ds=11/2010#q1