HEALTH chiefs in Bolton are being urged to reverse spending cuts on mental health services.

Data obtained by the Labour party indicates that Bolton’s Clinical Commissioning group and others across Greater Manchester are cutting the amount they spend on mental health, despite government promises to increase funding.

Now Ashton-under-Lyne MP Angela Rayner, patron of the Labour Mental Health campaign has written to every CCG group in the conurbation, demanding improvements in mental health services — and has been “backed to the hilt” by Bolton MP Yasmin Qureshi.

The date suggests that Bolton CCG is cutting its mental health spending from 9.83 per cent last year to 9.54 per cent this year.

This is a marginally less drastic drop than neighbouring borough’s — with Bury’s funding dropping from 9.83 per cent to 8.81 per cent and Wigan’s falling to 7.43 per cent from 8.13 per cent.

Ms Rayner said: “These percentage figures may seem small in some cases, but they represent hundreds of thousands of pounds which are being cut from multi-million pound budgets.

“That means fewer therapists working with people who have mental health problems, fewer acute beds and fewer services. It is very worrying.”

She added: “While the Government says spending on mental health services should be increased it is actually being badly cut in Greater Manchester.”

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi was in full agreement with her Labour colleague.

She said: “I absolutely back Angela to the hilt on this one.

“Mental health is a Cinderella service at the moment — it is simply not getting enough investment.

“Some services on offer are very hit and miss and I think a lot of people don’t realise how many issues there are for people.

“It is not simply the case that people with mental health issues are the ones running around the streets with a knife — that is a small percentage.

“There are lots of people suffering with things like depression and anxiety — which are much harder to identify and require better services.”

She added: “The government say they are going to do one thing and then do another — they are talking rubbish.”