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Depression fight boost

Pressure is mounting on the Government to act on the Pulse 'Action on Depression' campaign demands.

This week the shadow health secretary, Conservative MP Andrew Lansley, tabled an early day motion insisting the Government 'take urgent action to address this postcode lottery' in access to psychological therapies uncovered by Pulse.

And a second early day motion reiterating Pulse's campaign demands, tabled by Liberal Democrat Dr Evan Harris, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has already been signed by 38 MPs.

Dr Harris said: 'This House is concerned by the results of Pulse magazine's investigation into services for managing depression [and] urges the Government to instigate a concerted programme of training and recruitment to meet demand.'

Pulse has called for 10,000 extra therapists in the UK, a maximum two-month wait for treatment for all patients with depression by January 2008, and interim guidance for GPs without access to therapy.

In addition, Pulse has received letters of support from MPs including Liberal Democrat lead-er Sir Menzies Campbell, some of whom have already written to the Dep- artment of Health to take ministers to task over the issue.

The all-party parliamentary group on mental health is set to hold a meeting at the Commons to promote Pulse's campaign and put the spotlight on mental health services.

nhairon@cmpinformation.com

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