Mental health for veterans funding branded a ‘disgrace’ as Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden prepares to take plight to Parliament

Blackpool South's Labour MP Gordon Marsden
Blackpool South's Labour MP Gordon Marsden
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Gordon Marsden said it is a “disgrace” that in an NHS budget of over £150 billion, less than £10 million a year – or 0.007 per cent – has been allocated to military veteran-specific mental health services.

The Labour MP for Blackpool South described the funding as “inadequate”, and also criticised the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for saying coroners could not begin to collect data on the number of British ex-forces personnel who take their own lives.

His comments came after The Gazette’s investigation found there was no available data on suicide among veterans.

Mr Marsden said he would be speaking in Parliament on the issue, and said: “First of all, it’s a scandal that the amount of money given to mental health via the NHS is going to be severely inadequate.

“But the second thing that is an absolute scandal is that officials at the MoJ can’t be bothered to talk to coroners to talk about the co-ordinated ability to see if people are veterans or not.”

The MoJ said it was too complex for coroners to record veteran suicides, in particular because of the potential difficulties of accurately establishing a victim’s occupational history.

Allied nations like the US and Canada record the number of suicides closely, however.