After making a false claim, a very false claim, in fact 43(x) times a false claim, in the House of Commons on World Health Day – our MP has remained shtum and allowed the Department of Health to correct Hansard on his behalf.
The MP for South West Surrey told his colleagues there were 30,000 more people working in mental health now, compared to when Labour left office.
It’s ok for Hunt, because the official record (Hansard) has been corrected, and the DoH says, ‘he has no intention of apologising.’ Why would he – he wouldn’t know how!
Barbara Keeley, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Member for Mental Health and Social Care said: ‘The Tory government claim to want to make mental health a priority, but Jeremy Hunt doesn’t even know how many mental health staff are working in the NHS.
“Safe staffing was an issue raised by the CQC’s new State of Care report recently. Labour will invest more in mental health so that all services are staffed safely.”
Mr Hunt initially made the claim in response to the opening question from Tory colleague Stephen McPartland in the Health Questions in the House of Commons.
A question provided to Mr Hunt in advance of the session, by Mr McPartland asked “what steps he has taken to increase the size of the mental health workforce.”
Reading from papers in front of him, Mr Hunt replied: “Our mental health workforce has increased by 30,000 since 2010, and another 21,000 posts are planned.”
When a Member of Parliament inadvertently misleads the house, it is common practice for them to APOLOGISE to the house.
Dave Munday, the Unite union’s lead officer for mental health said: “Jeremy Hunt is shameless in trying to distort the true reality of what’s happened to mental health nursing under the Tories and should apologise to parliament.
“On his watch we’ve seen the number of mental health nurses plummet by 13.1% because of austerity and real term pay cuts. The truth is there’s a crisis in mental health because of him and the Tory government.”
Mr Hunt has previously been accused of misleading the House over his claim that there were 11,000 ‘excess deaths’ in the NHS at weekends.
He also told Waverley Tories he didn’t intend to interfere in the Dunsfold Park planning saga, which is situated a mile from his home, and then proceeded to tell a woman on Godalming Station, he was opposed to the development.