The All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health (APPG MH) has expressed its concerns about the future of mental health services in the reformed NHS.
The Group, which is chaired by Charles Walker MP who recently spoke movingly in Parliament about his experience of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), is urging the Government to stay vigilant about giving mental health a fair deal as NHS reforms kick in.
After a year long inquiry into the effect that the reforms contained in the Health and Social Care Act would have on both mental health services and those using them the Group has released Health and Social Care reform: Making it work for mental health. The report highlights four key areas of concern:
The inquiry, which was supported by Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, heard evidence from mental health service users, voluntary sector providers, health professionals, the Minister for Care Services and others. The major areas of concern are around whether or not GPs are ready or able to commission mental services as evidence suggests that they still lack the confidence to do this. The APPG MH is also worried about how the new NHS system will provide integrated care for people with mental health problems, so that they don’t face a complicated maze of stressful assessments.