Mental health services report16th October 2006
Long waits and lack of specialist care are just some of the findings of a new report, which claims community services for mental health service users is inadequate.
Think tank Reform blame the failings on too much money spent on long term hospital care and compulsory treatments, and has called for choice and competition to cut waiting times. It also said there was too little prescribing of modern drugs.
The findings echo similar concerns of the Healthcare Commission following a review in September. Looking at 174 mental health teams across England, the commission concluded there were gaps in out-of-hours care, talking therapies and access to information.
NHS managers have defended trusts, blaming shortages of expert staff.
Between 1999/2000 and 2003/4, spending on inpatient, outpatient and day patient services rose by £1.1bn, while expenditure on community mental health and illness nursing increased by just £400m, says the report.
Researchers say introducing more choice will help the NHS deliver the modern model of mental health care: early intervention, community support, reduced admission and returning to employment.
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Title: Mental health services report
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 923
Date Added: 16th Oct 2006