Local MPs Ben Everitt and Iain Stewart are delighted Milton Keynes will be getting a brand new mental health facility as part of the latest investment from the Conservative Government into healthcare in the city.
The MPs have been lobbying the Government to secure healthcare funding for Milton Keynes and over the last few years it has received funding for the new Maple Centre at Milton Keynes University Hospital, a new mobile breast cancer screening unit to help improve cancer outcomes and secured investment for the proposed £200 million Women and Children's Hospital.
The latest project will see the Conservative Government provide funding for a new health-based 'place of safety' suite in Milton Keynes for those suffering a mental health emergency. It will better support people experiencing – or at risk of experiencing – mental health crises to receive care and support in more appropriate settings outside of A&E, helping to ease pressures facing the NHS.
Improvements to NHS 111 and crisis phone lines will also be rolled out as part of the wider £150 million of Government funding into care for mental health.
Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, said: "I've met with local mental health charities across Milton Keynes including YiS Young People's Mental Health and Arthur Ellis Mental Health Support so I know just how important this new facility will be for our city.
"I'm delighted the Conservative Government is again investing in healthcare in Milton Keynes following the opening of the Maple Centre last year, the new mobile breast cancer screening unit which is on the way, and of course the planned Women and Children's Hospital which I'm continuing to work hard on to get a shovel in the ground."
Iain Stewart, the MP for Milton Keynes South, commented: “I am passionate about ensuring those who need or want access to mental health services can do so to get the right care and support.
“That is why I welcome the brilliant news that this Conservative Government will be funding a brand new mental health facility in Milton Keynes.”
Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, said: “People in mental health crisis deserve compassionate care in a safe and appropriate setting. Too often, they end up in A&E when they should be receiving specialist treatment elsewhere.
“This important funding will make sure they get the help they need, while easing pressures on emergency departments and freeing up staff time – which is a huge priority for the government this winter.”
With planned projects located across the country, the 150 schemes support the wider government commitment to level up mental health and wellbeing across the country – including some of the most deprived local authority areas in England.
Programmes will also focus on preventative measures, including improvement of sanctuary spaces, to improve mental wellbeing, and community mental health facilities that will work to help people before reaching crisis point.
This builds on our existing plans to improve mental health services. We are investing at least £2.3 billion of additional funding a year by 2023-24 to expand and transform mental health services in England so that two million more people will be able to get the mental health support they need.
Every area now has in place 24/7 NHS open access urgent mental health helplines; the helplines are currently taking around 200,000 calls per month, with only 1-2% reported as being directed to 999/A&E. In the community, NHS Mental Health Support Teams are being rolled out in schools and colleges, offering early mental health help to children and young people, we are on target to reach 35% of pupils by the end of this year.
This comes as the government has committed to increase mental health spend to 8.9% of all NHS funding.