HC Deb 14 May 1996 vol 277 cc756-7
8. Mr. Barry Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about funding for mental health care on the Isle of Wight. [27988]

Mr. Bowis

In addition to the £7.2 million budget for mental health planned by the Isle of Wight health authority, I am pleased that we have been able to award a £305,000 grant from the mental health challenge fund.

Mr. Field

I am pleased to learn that the Isle of Wight has been so successful in obtaining funds from the mental health challenge fund. Is the Minister aware that the money will be used to extend the partnership with the island's social services as well as for a 24-hour crisis intervention team, which is badly needed on the island? May I thank him on behalf not only of myself but of everyone involved in mental health care on the island for listening to my representations on these difficult issues. Is he pleased to know that on Friday I had a tooth extracted on the national health service? It has brought me great relief and it gave my dentist great satisfaction. Is it not a fact that the Conservatives have cared for the NHS for more than 30 years—a record that far exceeds that of any other party in the nation?

Mr. Bowis

Yes. I am sure that if my hon. Friend puts his tooth under his pillow he will get a bit more, too. I thank my hon. Friend for his thanks. He has been a persistent and persuasive advocate on behalf of the island. He arranged a useful and constructive meeting with his health and social services authorities. The funding has enabled us to see an extension of the 24-hour staffed accommodation on the island and the establishment of the 24-hour crisis intervention team. I was also pleased to be able to allocate an extra £1.9 million to the health authority to enable it to cope with its merger period.