NHS bosses accuse Boris Johnson of ‘structural discrimination’ against mental health

In an interview with the Observer, Saffron Cordery, the deputy chief executive of NHS providers, launched a scathing attack on Johnson’s apparent disinterest in mental health. In it she warned that patients will have to wait longer for treatment, with some missing out on care altogether, unless ministers give mental health the same priority as physical illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

The NHS bosses represented by NHS Providers, accused Boris Johnson of “structural discrimination” against mental health and ignoring the huge psychological damage being wreaked by the pandemic. A decade of progress on mental illness has come to a halt under a prime minister who seems more interested in building “shiny new hospitals” than tackling the mounting toll of debilitating ill-health, they say.

The fact that only two of the 40 new hospitals Johnson recently announced will be mental health facilities was proof of the “structural discrimination”, she said. And she revealed that the original list of 40 projects was going to include eight providing mental health care, but six were dropped at the last moment, with Downing Street giving no explanation for the decision.

Full story in The Guardian, 24 October 2020