The Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health Foundation, the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and the Royal College of Psychiatrists have jointly released a “First 100 Days and Beyond” plan, which specifies five priorities for the new government concerning action to improve mental health services. Priority areas include:
- Fair funding for mental health, based on parity of esteem with physical health.
- Giving children a good start in life.
- Improving the physical health care of people with mental health problems.
- Improving the lives and general wellbeing of people with mental health problems.
- Improving access to mental health services.
Improving England’s Mental Health: The First 100 Days and Beyond. London: The Mental Health Policy Group / NHS Confederation, May 2015.
Another Reality Crunch?
Freedom of information (FOI) requests made by Labour to NHS CCGs in England suggest that mental health budgets fell on average for 2015-16, but these figures are disputed in official circles where mental health remains a government priority.
Wilkinson, E. (2015). Ministers accused of failing to keep mental health pledge. London: BBC Health News, August 23rd 2015.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Transformation Plans
NHS England has written to regional teams outlining interim guidance for major service transformation to develop CAMHS (both across agencies and across the patient care pathway).
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) transformation plans: interim guidance [Letter]. London: NHS England, May 26th 2015.
NHS England has distributed £30 million funding for local eating disorder services; this is part of the programme to improve children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing:
NHS England launches first stage of new programme to improve young people’s mental health services. London: NHS England, August 3rd 2015.
Care Quality Commission Review of Mental Health Crisis Services
A Care Quality Commission review of the help provided for people in mental health crisis has concluded that people in need of urgent mental health care in England sometimes receive inadequate support. This review, which was based on surveys of patients’ experiences, analysis of national data and inspections of services, found that 42% of patients may not get the help required.
Triggle, N. (2015). Mental health crisis care ‘inadequate’. London: BBC Health News, June 12th 2015.
More information on the CQC “Right here, right now” report is available.
Psychological Support for People Living With Cancer (London Mental Health SCN)
Guidance for commissioners and service providers on improving psychological support for people with cancer, from the London Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network and the Transforming Cancer Services Team for London. This presents ten recommendations regarding commissioning, workforce education, training and supervision, and service development / delivery.
Psychological support for people living with cancer: commissioning guidance for cancer care in London. London: London Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network, June 24th 2015.
Integration of Mental and Physical Health Services
A quick summary of the issues and developments in best practice:
Treating mind and body together – Dr Geraldine Strathdee. London: NHS England, June 24th 2015.
Around a quarter of GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) miss the target of 75% of patients receiving treatment within six weeks of being referred:
Psychological therapies: next steps towards parity of care. London: JMC Partners, September 2015.
Possibly of interest:
Hatchard, S. (2015). ‘Postcode lottery for mental health talking therapies’. London: BBC Health News, October 22nd 2015.
Royal College of Psychiatrists / Mental Health Taskforce
The Royal College of Psychiatrists believes the whole system of mental health care provision needs to be improved, including tackling bed shortages / closures due to funding pressures and delayed discharges arising from poor community provision:
Mental health bed shortage blamed on system. London: BBC Health News, July 15th 2015.
A case of there being no adult acute inpatient mental health beds available in England sometimes:
Fox, N. (2015). Norfolk and Suffolk NHS trust told ‘no mental health beds available’. London: BBC Health News / BBC Look East, September 7th 2015.
Mental Health Detentions Increased
There were 58,000 detentions under the Mental Health Act in England in the 12 months from April 2014 to March 2015. The number of people detained or sectioned in NHS hospitals increased by 4,000, and the number of people detained or sectioned in private hospitals increased by 1,270, compared to the previous year.
Mental health detentions up by 10% in England. London: BBC Health News, October 23rd 2015.