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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Mental health services need to be more efficient

2nd December 2010

A new report has warned that more than £500m could be saved if mental health services in England were run more efficiently.


The document, drawn up by the King’s Fund and the Centre for Mental Health, said costs could be cut through better community support, cutting unnecessary hospital stays and reducing sickness absence at a time that the NHS needs to make £20bn of efficiency savings by 2014.

Report author Chris Naylor from The King's Fund said: “This report shows that, by redesigning services, there are significant opportunities to reduce costs and reinvest the proceeds to improve the quality of patient care.”

Report co-author Andy Bell of the Centre for Mental Health said improving support for people with mental health problems represented good value for taxpayers' money at a time that some 10% of NHS spending currently goes into mental health services.

The Care Services Minister Paul Burstow acknowledged that the NHS had to “get better at seeing the whole person.”

He said: “Treating someone's physical symptoms and not understanding their mental health just isn't good enough.”

The government has plans to extend psychological therapies to older people and those with long term conditions as part of a new strategy.

The report recommends: cutting unnecessary bed use in hospitals and psychiatric units by better use of crisis teams and community support; fewer transfers of patients to facilities outside their local areas; improving services for older people with mental health issues; and helping people with mental health problems to stay in work.


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