Mental health needs a better deal from the NHS
Posted Monday 18 June 2012
On Monday, the London School of Economics launched a report by Professor Lord Layard called How mental illness loses out in the NHS.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said of the report:
This is a hard-hitting report that shines a much-needed spotlight on mental health and the crucial need for it to receive a better deal from the NHS.
The gap between treatment of physical and mental health services has been a key issue for Mind for some time and we secured an important amendment in the recent Health and Social Care Act to make sure it recognised the equal status of mental health in commissioning health services.
Mind conducted research for the We Need To Talk coalition of charities and professional bodies that revealed one in five people had been waiting over a year to access talking therapy.
In particular, people with severe mental health problems, children, older people, men and those from black and minority ethnic groups are under-served by talking therapies.
We were pleased with the Government's commitment to extend the Improved Access to Psychological Therapy programme to address this. We back calls in this report for measures to make sure this is rolled out fully across England.
The mental health of the nation will play an important role in our economic recovery and we know from the increased demand for our own services that this is a key time for investment in mental health.
The next few months will prove especially critical, as Clinical Commissioning Groups get to grips with the services they are responsible for and begin to understand the needs of their local community.
It is vital that they take on board the recommendations in this report and engage with patients and local voluntary groups to help them commission effective and efficient mental health services.