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Mind responds to mental health concerns

12th January 2006

A new way of looking at how to improve standards within mental health wards is needed, according to Mind.

Responding to recent reports on the "appalling" state of wards in the UK, the director of policy at Mind has called on the government to make some real changes and to address the issue of funding.

Sophie Corlett argued that a lack of separation between money set aside for community based projects and funding for NHS mental health services was preventing improvements from being made.

"How many more reports do we need before urgent action is taken to address the continuing appalling state of mental health wards? " Ms Corlett asked.

"A worrying connection is being made between lack of NHS mental health funding and funding for community services - these are separate vital services."

She warned that a lack of adequate funding would end in officials making a choice between "preventative low level treatments in the community and crisis services in hospital", when both are needed.

Describing the government's draft Mental Health bill as "coercive", Ms Corlett believes that taking an aggressive stance with regard to treatment will only discourage people from seeking help.