Socialist Worker

Anger at plans to cut mental health care in Stockport

by Clare McCrystal, Stockport Unison steward (pc)
Issue No. 2394

Some 180 people including workers, carers and service users packed into the council chamber at Stockport Town Hall on Thursday of last week.

They were furious at plans to cut local mental health community services by 25 percent by April 2015. 

In April this year seven posts are also set to go, which is an 8 percent cut.

Local mental health services have been underfunded for years. 

NHS spending overall is being cut by £20 billion, taking 4 percent every year off trust budgets. So no service is left untouched. 

Linda, a service user, spoke about the importance of specialist support by trained professionals. 

She outlined how the consistent care of her community mental health team had enabled her to recover to the point she will be considering a return to work. 

Service users said they were being discharged early as they were deemed to be “recovered” from serious mental health conditions such as bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia. 

Service users called on Unison to ballot staff to take strike action to stop these cuts and said, “We will support you to defend our services”.

The clear message of the meeting was that the defence of our public services needed a joint fight by service users and workers.

 Lobby the Health and Well Being Scrutiny Committee, Stockport Town Hall, 1 April, 5.30pm. Next campaign meeting on Wednesday 2 April, Stockport Town Hall, 6pm

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