The Guardian: Norman Lamb accuses mental health campaigners of trolling him

The Liberal Democrat care minister, Norman Lamb, has accused mental health campaigners in his North Norfolk constituency of trolling him on Twitter.

Lamb, who promotes himself as a champion for mental health awareness, was responding to tweets from the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk & Suffolk which called him duplicitous and said it had encountered many people who were adversely affected by cuts to mental health services under the Liberal-Conservative coalition.

The MP for Norfolk North tweeted: “I am pursued by vicious, sometimes defamatory and totally cynical trolling by Norfolk/Suffolk Crisis campaigners!”

…a spokesperson for the group, described Lamb’s tweet as “dismissive and insulting”, saying that the campaign was made up of former mental health care workers, bereaved families and service users.

In February, the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust became the first trust specialising in mental health to go into special measures. Campaigners have said community care for the most vulnerable in the region has been decimated, specialist outreach teams that provided support for the severely mentally ill had been closed, and more than 120 beds in the two counties had been lost.

In March, researchers from BBC News and Community Care compared the budgets of mental health trusts in England in 2010-11 with 2014-15, and their findings suggested they had suffered a real-terms budget cut of around 8.25%, or £598m. The research suggested referrals to community mental health teams, which help people avoid being admitted to hospital, had risen nearly 18.5%.

“Mental health nurses and psychiatrists and social workers – they’re not really nasty people. [Lamb] said that we told the most outrageous lies and said he was slandered or libelled on Twitter on an almost daily basis.

“When you actually look at what we say, other than calling him duplicitous, which I would have thought would be a compliment to most politicians, I think we’re actually pretty polite. I don’t think we troll Norman Lamb. He’s a big boy.”

“What he says [about the difficulties facing mental health services in the area] is ‘this is totally unacceptable’ and he says it as if he is not the minister of state in charge of mental health. And what we say to him is that there needs to be less campaigning and more doing. He’s the person in charge. And he doesn’t like that.”

Read Frances Perraudin’s full article on The Guardian website by clicking on the image below:

Guardian Norman Lamb accuses mental health campaigners of trolling him

5 thoughts on “The Guardian: Norman Lamb accuses mental health campaigners of trolling him”

  1. How low Mr Lamb has sunk here. These staff and service users have bravely stood up to speak out for the safety and needs of all service users, and of the staff working in a dire situation. How dare he call them trolls. That in this case should be a badge of honour. Just read the CQC report of this Trust and draw your own conclusion.

  2. Sadly Mr Lamb has revealed his true colours, when he is subject to scrutiny or criticism he simply cries foul and screams to the national press that he is being victimised. The quickest way to stifle any sort of criticism is to label people you don’t agree with as extremists and this is precisely what he has done. This is a cynical and blatant attempt to stifle debate on what is a massive debacle which happened under the nose of the Minister responsible. No wonder he wants this group silenced. Disgusting.


  3. If seeking to tell the truth about the terrible screw up that is Radical Redesign makes me an EXTREMIST Mr Lamb, then I’m pleased to disappoint you….I can only hope more of the electorate feel the same……

  4. Norman Lamb the seasoned MP sounds like he’s running scared of the campaign, and the truth catching up with his sound bites, because he has little else to give us. I think DUPLICITOUS’ had it bang on…..and he knows it…..The truth hurts…..

  5. Norman Lamb is particularly hypocritical because he claims to be a champion of mental health services while actually cutting them. His cashless Crisis Care Concordat was a particular example of hypocrisy. While launching his concordat he knew very well that across the country acute psychiatric beds were being closed. Over 2000 in 2 years, with his own area’s Trust leading the race to cut services.Many people in crisis have not been able to gain admission to hospital, others have been admitted but to a hospital hundreds of miles away from home. Other patients have been discharged too soon, or when on trial leave at home have not been able to return to hospital because their bed has been filled in their absence. All the major parties are saying that the NHS will need £22 billion of “cost-saving” in the next 5 years. We know what this will mean for mental health services…they are all hypocrites.

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