In First Minister’s Questions, Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies AM criticised Carwyn Jones’ government’s commitment to mental health services, calling their actions “more of the same” and “a complacent refusal to acknowledge serious problems in Wales”.
Mr Davies highlighted that over 63% of adults and over 55% of children in Wales are waiting longer than four weeks to access mental health treatment and the lack of detail in the Welsh Government Budget surrounding the methods to improve mental health services.
When asked, the outgoing First Minister did not say whether he’d explore implementing measures announced by the UK Government following the Chancellor’s Budget which included more mental health ambulances, additional “safe havens” in the community, and a 24-hour mental health crisis hotline.
Mr Jones was asked by Mr Davies to explain why he refused to accept the majority of recommendations made by the Assembly’s Children and Young People’s Committee’s report on how to improve the “dire” state of preventative mental health services in Wales, despite the cross-party nature of the committee and that it is chaired by a Labour backbencher.
Commenting outside the Chamber, Paul Davies AM said:
“It is incredibly disappointing to see Carwyn Jones be so complacent when it comes to the mental health of the people he is meant to represent.
“It is clear that the Welsh Government is only committed to doing more of the same, exposing people to lengthy waiting times, patchy services, and inconsistent crisis care through outdated delivery plans. He won’t even say he’d consider ambitious plans underway in England.
“The Welsh Conservatives have been steadfast in our belief that focus needs to be on preventative and therapeutic services to ensure that mental health conditions aren’t allowed to deteriorate.
“The Welsh Government say that mental health is a priority. However, a refusal to acknowledge reality only fails the people of Wales.”