Ben Bradshaw

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Question on Youth Mental Health Services

In the House of Commons yesterday I asked the Secretary of State about the scandal of mental health services for young people.

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): The Secretary of State should not be at all surprised by this terrible case of the young girl kept in a police cell in Devon over the weekend, because I and other Members have been raising this personally with him for at least the last three years. What has he been doing over that period to address the scandal of young people’s mental health services in Devon and nationally?

Mr Hunt: I will tell the right hon. Gentleman what I have been doing: I have been putting in place a strategy that will see over the next few months a reduction of 51% in the number of mental health patients who use police cells. That is progress. It still means that there are too many people in police cells, but I would just gently urge him not to try to make party political capital out of this, because a higher number of them were used under the last Labour Government. We are addressing a long-standing problem in a responsible way, and are determined to go further.

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