TORY ministers have no idea how many people have committed suicide due to mental health issues because of “appalling gaps” in their research, Labour said yesterday.
Shadow cabinet minister for mental health Luciana Berger called into question ministers’ claims that the NHS is undergoing healthcare “revolutions” so that psychological illnesses get as much care as physical ones.
Ms Berger highlighted the data mess in the first of a planned month-long series of daily revelations about questions the government has failed to answer about mental health care.
Her questions relate to treatment waiting times, specialist medic coverage, mothers with post-natal depression committing suicide, the number of children who have died in inpatient care and how many people diagnosed with mental health conditions go to prison.
Ministers have admitted that the government does not collect information relating to any of her 30 questions, according to Labour.
Ms Berger said: “This is yet further shocking evidence of the gap between what Tory ministers say about mental health and what they actually do.”
She added: “If ministers couldn’t answer such basic questions on physical health there would be outrage.
“These findings cast further doubt over the government’s ability to deliver what they have promised and make mental health the real priority it deserves to be.”
The exposé follows claims by Tory PM David Cameron last month that his party is leading a “revolution in mental health treatment in Britain.”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt — currently mired in a conflict with junior doctors planning to strike over punishing contracts — recently claimed that there is a “transparency revolution” going on in the NHS.