Concern for mental health in reformed NHS

Concern for mental health in reformed NHS

Concerns for the future of mental health in a reformed NHS have been raised by industry experts. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health (APPG MH) has spoken out about its fear for mental health patients once the Health and Social Care Act reforms kick in. MP Charles Walker, chair of the APPG MH and obsessive compulsive disorder patient, is urging the government to stay vigilant about giving mental health a “fair deal” in the new NHS. The Group has published a report, entitled Health and Social Care reform: Making it work for mental health, detailing its concerns. APPG MH members are worried that GPs won’t possess enough knowledge of mental health issues to commission appropriate services once they are given more power. There is also a fear that mental health will not feature prominently in decision making at a local level and patients will not be properly represented. Furthermore, the APPG MH has called for more joined up services, to reduce the amount of assessments a person with mental health problems has to undergo. They also desire patients to be given greater choice through improved access to and education on personal care budgets. The government has recently published a white paper that also champions personal care budgets, indicating that they will be more prominent in the NHS in the future. Mr Walker commented: “This report comes at a cross roads for mental health: the coalition Government has promised to grant mental health the same level of importance as physical health, but there is work to do to make this a reality.” Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.