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Bleak outlook for mental health

27th February 2007

A gap in the provision of services to mental health patients has been revealed in a new survey.

The Third Sector Market Mapping Research Report, commissioned by the Department of Health, found that the majority of charities and other voluntary organisations which provide services to the NHS do not want to deal with mental health.  When asked to predict their future involvement in healthcare provision, only 8% of the third-sector organisations surveyed said they planned to deliver some kind of service to mental health patients.

Third-sector organisations believe they will grow their businesses by a collective £1bn next year alone but mental health patients, who are currently the biggest client group in third-sector health, are set to miss out on that growth.  The news comes as fresh research suggests 1.7 million people in the UK will suffer with dementia by the middle of the century and mental health charities step-up their campaigning to put mental health issues higher on the public agenda.

Paul Jenkins, chief executive of mental health charity Rethink said there was a problem with continuing provision for the mentally ill in this country. 'We need long-term commitment to contracts rather than a fair-weather approach to funding where there may be a retraction if times are hard,? he said.

 

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