Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning paid a visit to a mental health unit in his hometown in his capacity of Minister of State for disabled people.
Mr Penning – who was appointed as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council last week – spoke to staff at the St Paul’s unit at Hemel Hempstead Hospital and discussed how a more ‘linked up’ approach between all services that support people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities would have a positive impact on the service users.
The visit to the unit – run by the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Trust – came after the launch of the government’s mental health action plan at the start of the year, which set out 25 priorities for change in the country’s mental health services – including the promise that mental health care and physical healthcare will be better integrated at every level.
Mr Penning said: “Although we’ve made great strides to better support people who suffer from mental health conditions in recent years, there is plenty more good work that can be done.
“I would like to see hospitals, adult social care services and other stakeholders forging ever closer ties for the benefit of their patients.”
Community and mental health services manager for Dacorum and St Albans Heather Meek said: “We were delighted that Mr Penning visited the unit and it was encouraging to hear that he shares our commitment in making sure our service users receive the best care and support.”