Shadow Health and Social Services Minister Jonathan Morgan AM has pledged his full support for the Wales Alliance for Mental Health (WAMH) vision for a Mental Health Measure (Welsh law).
Mr Morgan, who proposed the Mental Health Legislative Competency Order to develop a Measure and has overseen its progress at the Assembly, said he agreed with all the principles in the WAMH vision, including the creation of a legal right to an holistic care plan for all patients who are assessed as needing secondary or specialist mental health services.
Speaking to John Abbott, Hafal’s Campaigns Manager, Mr Morgan stated: “I want to put patients’ rights at the heart of a new Measure, including rights to early treatment and rights to a comprehensive care plan.
“I would like to see a fair and balanced Measure with a focus on supporting patients towards recovery.”
Discussing the new NHS structure that will see the establishment of seven Boards in place of the existing 14 Trusts and 22 Local Health Boards, Mr Morgan expressed his concerns about mental health.
“I fully agree with Hafal’s Members that one of the Executive Directors on each of the seven Boards of Directors should have an exclusive mental health role,” he said.
“This is the logical and fair solution if mental health is to be given the priority it needs within the new structure.”
These sentiments were echoed by newly-appointed Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister Peter Black in a separate meeting held with John Abbott.
Mr Black said he strongly supported Hafal’s call for mental health to be a priority.
He said: “I think it is essential that one of the Executive Directors on each of the seven boards is dedicated to dealing exclusively with mental health.
“This will ensure that mental health is given the prominence it was promised, and it will mean that those seven Executive Directors with a mental health function can meet nationally and look at policy and performance management.”
Mr Black also pledged his support for Hafal. “Like my predecessor Jenny Randerson I intend to fully support the excellent work Hafal does across the 22 counties of Wales. Hafal gives a strong campaigning voice to some of the most vulnerable people in society, and this is a voice I intend to listen to.”
For the latest on Hafal’s campaigning keep visiting www.hafal.org For the latest on the progress of the Mental Health Legislative Competency Order and the new NHS structure in Wales, go to: www.mentalhealthwales.net