Mental healthcare must improve11th May 2007
A report by the mental health tsar has said NHS mental health departments should take a fresh look at ways to improve community care.
Professor Louis Appleby said the 60 NHS mental health trusts should find new approaches in order to help people with mental health issues. He declared they needed to work in partnership with employment and housing agencies.
The tsar's report also said renewed efforts should be made to reduce waiting lists for talking therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Over the past eight years, the NHS has worked to shift care from hospitals and into the community. There are now over 700 community teams offering a range of services.
In 2006, the Healthcare Commission published a critical analysis of mental health services, which rated almost half of the services provided as fair or weak.
Professor Appleby told BBC News: "We've had several years of strengthening what community services do, and the report is about breaking down the barriers in the next stage of reforms."
The NHS is currently offering people the possibility of using computerised CBT. The government is also trialling 10 pilot schemes in order to find ways of improving access to talking therapies.
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, said more investment was needed to improve mental health services.
"The government goes forward with its policy of reform and choice, but there are thousands who have no choice of where to go in crisis and little chance of rehabilitation or safe, consistent care, both in or out of hospital."
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Title: Mental healthcare must improve
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 2811
Date Added: 11th May 2007