Jeremy Hunt admits false claims over mental health

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been forced to re-write parliamentary records after making a false claim about mental health.

Speaking on World Mental Health Day, he told MPs: “We’ve got 30,000 more people working in mental health today than we had when [Labour] left office.”

He repeated this again, saying: “We have 30,000 more professionals working in mental health than when my Government came into office.”

But when questioned by FactCheck, the Department for Health admitted that Mr Hunt’s figure includes all professionally qualified clinical NHS staff in England – not just those working in mental health.

They said the official transcript of parliamentary businesses will be edited to rectify this.

The Department for Health told FactCheck: “This was an error and we will be correcting Hansard accordingly.”

The truth about mental health staffing

This is not an exact science. It’s impossible to put a precise number of how many NHS staff cover mental health. Mainly, that’s because a lot of staff cover cover multiple areas.

However, using the latest data from NHS Digital, we have tried to find a more accurate figure than Mr Hunt’s.

To do this, we included psychiatric doctors and mental health nurses, as well as all staff working in clinical psychology, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, multi-therapies and art, music and drama therapies.

Article from channel 4 news, 11 October 2017