UK government fall massively short on cross-Government plan promise
The Department for Health and Social Care have today announced a Major Conditions Strategy, which will inform government policy and strategy in the following areas:
- Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and diabetes
- Chronic respiratory diseases
- Mental ill health
- Musculoskeletal disorders.
It is currently Mind’s understanding this replaces the previous commitment to a 10 year cross-Government mental health plan, which was promised last year.
Responding to the announcement, Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive at Mind, said:
“We’ve always been clear that addressing poor mental health in the UK would require looking across health conditions , so we welcome this approach from DHSC in their Major Conditions Strategy. However, a year ago we were promised a full, 10-year cross-Government mental health plan. This was supposed to set the vision for how the UK government departments, the NHS, and wider society could work together to properly support the millions of people living with mental health conditions across the country. We needed to see bold plans to prevent the increasing prevalence of poor mental health, particularly among children and young people, those in poverty, and those from racialised communities. Based on the details we have right now, the Major Conditions Strategy fails to live up to this promise.
“Over 28,000 people fed into the UK government’s call for evidence on what needed to be in a cross-Government mental health plan to best support people living with a mental health condition. The work these people put into sharing their experiences of living with a mental health condition must not be wasted. Right now, it is unclear how this plan will become the cross-government piece of work we were all promised, which is what is needed to bring the most benefit to people.
“What we need at the moment - and what we thought we were getting - is political leadership to set a clear ambition to revolutionise our approach to mental health and make it fit for the 21st century. Everyone who’s experienced one of the many conditions now contained within this Strategy, or is at greater risk of experiencing those conditions, deserve a plan which will help reduce the causes of that condition or support its treatment. Unfortunately, while we’re still waiting for details of the Major Conditions Strategy, a plan this general is unlikely to help achieve that.”