RESIDENTS need confidence that mental health services are good enough, says a Flintshire MS.

Jack Sargeant, MS for Alyn and Deeside, pressed Health Minister Vaughan Gething on mental health services in North Wales.

Mr Sargeant says he is 'frustrated' by news that 1,700 patients in North Wales were wrongly discharged. He strongly believes things need to improve for his constituents to have confidence in North Wales services.

The MS has been a campaigner for better mental health services across Wales and the UK for some time now, using his own experiences batting mental health problems to call for services to be given parity to physical health services.

Mr Sargeant asked the Minister for Health in virtual Senedd: "Minister, coronavirus, the need for isolation and the financial toll that residents across Wales are paying will, of course, have a huge impact on their mental health.

"News that 1,700 patients were wrongly discharged in north Wales fills nobody with the confidence that services in north Wales are all that they should be.

"Now, I understand that there are currently huge pressures on our NHS, but this is obviously not good enough. Residents in north Wales need to have the confidence in services.

"Minister, we have all been suffering a mental health pandemic long before COVID-19. So, not just as parliamentarians and Governments, but as human beings, we need to do more.

"What can you say to my constituents to reassure them that the lessons are being learned and that those affected are given the support they need is a matter of urgency?"

Vaughan Gething said it was a mistake discharging people when they should not have been and that mental health services are 'essential' and 'should continue throughout the pandemic'.

He went on to say: "That's why myself and the education Minister made our announcement on providing more resource for children and young people, and it's why I'll continue to keep on looking at the mental health issues being raised, not just in the children and young people committee and may get raised in the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee tomorrow, but to make sure that the extra infrastructure we've put in place to test and to check that mental health services are still functioning and dealing with need continues in place.

"We've brought more beds at the start of this pandemic for the highest level of need. I've made more money available through the budget, so I can assure Jack Sargeant that's not just the treatment end, but the point about the conversation we have about mental health in this country, going back to how it's okay to say you're not okay.

"It's really important that we do that as well in the way we live our own lives with the people around us, and what we say and how we act in public, as well.”

Speaking after, Mr Sargeant told the Leader: "The consequences of COVID will be difficult for many people to deal with and they will need support.

"It is my job to speak up to ensure those services are the best they can be when people need them. I would urge anyone who is struggling to reach out now and not wait."