Mind comments on Mental Health Act Commission report
Posted Wednesday 11 January 2006
Mind warns against connecting NHS funding with community service funding
Sophie Corlett, Mind's Director of Policy says:
"How many more reports do we need before urgent action is taken to address the continuing appalling state of mental health wards?
Lack of beds, lack of staff, disgusting conditions, abuse of patients, use of coercion(1) - this is what people are compelled to endure, no wonder that patients fear mental health services. Yet the Government still proposes a draft Mental Health Bill that threatens coercive treatment for far too many, serving only to drive people further away from the help they may so desperately need.
A worrying connection is being made between lack of NHS mental health funding, and funding for community services - these are separate vital services. Just as we do not choose between encouraging people to do exercise and providing them with heart surgery, we should not choose for mental health between preventative low level treatments in the community and crisis services in hospital.
NHS beds are essential for those who need them, when they need them, care in the community is essential for the many people with mental health problems who can manage their condition living at home."
(1) All exposed in Mind's Ward Watch report, 2004