Mental health charities comment on NHS Mandate
Posted Tuesday 13 November 2012
The first Government NHS Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board has been released today (Tuesday, 13 November 2012). The Mandate, which will be effective from April 2013, sets out the objectives and outcomes that the NHS must deliver on over the next five years, and will be used by the Government to hold the NHS Commissioning Board to account.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
We welcome the Government’s Mandate to the NHS and are pleased that mental health will be given greater importance than it currently does. People with mental health problems tell us their top priority is access to a range of good quality services and support, so we particularly welcome objectives such as extending the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme and improving crisis care services.
This Mandate sends a strong message that mental health is a priority and should be put on a par with physical health in the NHS. In a time of widespread cuts to mental health services; and yet demand for these services increasing, we now need to ensure the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can deliver on these objectives. We need the Board to clearly demonstrate how services are being improved for people with mental health problems. Mind wants to see everyone with mental health problems given the information, services and respect they deserve. We look forward to working with the Government and NHS Commissioning Board to monitor progress.
Paul Jenkins, CEO of the charity Rethink Mental Illness said:
We are delighted to see the Government directing the NHS to treat people with mental health conditions on a par to those with physical conditions. This is long overdue and urgently needed. Many of our members are dying up to 20 years early because their physical health is ignored. Most people with severe and enduring mental illnesses aren’t getting the treatments that NICE recommends. And just a third get access to services when they need it. This is not the NHS we encounter when we need support for cancer or diabetes or asthma and we’re pleased Ministers want to change this.
Our main question now is how we’ll actually know if parity is achieved. The Government must quickly develop indicators for us to know what its idea of ‘significant progress’ looks like. Without this people affected by mental illness will have no way of knowing if the Mandate’s aspirations are being realised, and will be unable to hold the Government to account.
Notes to Editors:
- Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress.
- For more information, interviews and case studies please contact the Mind media team on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 or by email ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817
- Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case
- Mind infoline provides information on a range of topics including types of mental distress; where to get help; drug and alternative treatments and advocacy. Phone 0300 123 3393 (lines open Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm) or contact them by email
About Rethink Mental Illness:
- Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness.
- For 40 years we have brought people together to support each other. We run services and support groups that change people’s lives and challenge attitudes about mental illness.
- We directly support almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone.
- We give information and advice to 500,000 more and we change policy for million.