Mental health services still falling behind
Posted Tuesday 19 July 2005
Today Mind responded to the Healthcare Commission's "State of Healthcare 2005" report. The annual report to Parliament on the state of healthcare in England and Wales focused for the first time on the experience of patients.
Sophie Corlett, Mind's Director of Policy, said:
"The Healthcare Commission's "State of Healthcare 2005" report shows that the picture of care across the health service is still mixed, and that mental health service users are still more likely than many other patients to receive poor quality treatment within the NHS.
Last year Mind's Ward Watch report revealed that 23 per cent of current or recent inpatients had been accommodated in mixed sex wards. The Healthcare Commission report found that the same proportion of patients had been accommodated in a mixed sex environment, showing that very little is being done to significantly reduce the numbers of mental health service users sharing wards with those of the opposite sex. This is despite the Government's claim that 98 per cent of mental health trusts comply with guidance on single sex accommodation.
Within the community, services are varied too. Only two-thirds of community-based crisis resolution teams are operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is considerable evidence that this provision can be of major benefit, yet the Healthcare Commission has revealed that fewer than half the people who need crisis care are able to gain access to it. Mind is keen to ensure that all such teams are fully resourced, ensuring consistency across the country.
There has been progress in some areas of mental health provision. But mental health services did not start on an equal footing. There needs to be much more investment, much sooner, if the quality of care received by mental health service users is to be properly addressed."