The Department of Health has today announced that people with mental health problems will be given more choice of health professionals and greater involvement in the way they are cared for from April 2014. This is one of a number of proposals to be implemented as a result of the No Decision About Me, Without Me consultation, which focused on the importance of allowing patients to be more involved in decisions about their own care and treatment.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said:
“We welcome today’s announcement that people with mental health problems will be given the same right to choose who provides their care as those with physical health problems. This is a real step forward in making the Government’s commitment to giving mental health parity of esteem with physical health in the NHS a reality.
Many people tell Mind that too often they feel they aren’t listened to or respected by their mental health professional, so allowing people to choose their consultant should improve quality of care. However, we know that choice over the type of treatment you receive and involvement in joint care planning are also critical to a person’s recovery, so we need to see these become common practice to improve people’s experience of care.
We are pleased to see the Government has pledged to look at access standards for mental health, acknowledging that people are still waiting far too long for essential mental health treatments. We look forward to working with the Government to address this.”Mental health services