NHS Vows to Transform Mental Health Services

February 15, 2016

A crucial report by an independent taskforce into the state of the mental health system has resulted in a pledge from the Government to transform mental health services.

An Article in the Guardian stated: ‘People facing mental health crises will be able to get community care 24 hours a day, seven days a week as part of the biggest transformation of NHS mental health services in England for a generation, to be unveiled on Monday.

A wide-ranging set of recommendations by an independent taskforce that surveyed a long-neglected and “chronically underfunded” area of healthcare is backed by a pledge from the NHS in England to help more than a million extra people facing mental health problems and to invest in excess of £1bn annually by 2020-21.

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said mental health services had historically been the NHS’s “poor relation”, but the service was now committed to putting mental health on an equal footing with physical health by implementing improvements in seven-day crisis care and increases in psychological treatments.’

Quoted from The Guardian article on the subject: http://bit.ly/1XsbZTo

Raymond Sheehy, CEO, of Bridge Mental Health, said in response:

“At Bridge Mental Health we have seen the lack of funding affect front line mental health care for years. We, as a charitable organisation, strive, to bridge the gap left in the community by providing vital care services for many with severe and enduring mental health problems.

We welcome this report by the independent taskforce that has found the system in ‘chronically underfunded’ and that care varies greatly across the country. We welcome the pledges to invest in excess of £1bn annually by 2020-21 and implement improvements in seven-day crisis care and an increase in vital psychological treatments. However, this cannot come too soon, as services need help now.

We need to see these changes implemented on the front line and not miss the opportunity to capitalise on this momentum which has grown in the call to improve mental health services.

There has been a wave of support and increased awareness generated in the public domain, encouraged also by campaigns such as Time to Change and increased media coverage, where more people than ever understand the impact of mental health issues on the population and the conversation is growing louder.

We have to ensure public support continues to be matched by consistent Government funding and investment which really makes a change to services across the country, so that all the hard work done by those campaigning to improve the system becomes a reality as soon as possible.”

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