ENGLAND: NHS vows to transform mental health services with extra £1bn a year

February 26, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark News

The Guardian

An independent task force in England has put forth a set of recommendations that is being supported by the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS pledges that one million additional people with mental health problems will be helped by a national investment of more than £1bn each year by 2020-21. Top priorities are ensuring that people can obtain mental health services every day of the week and expanding services in the community for people with severe problems so that they can live safely close to home. Another recommendation is to make crisis resolution and home treatment teams available throughout England to provide intensive home treatment rather than having to depend on inpatient facilities, as is currently true in half of the country. The task force also recommends the creation of local multi-agency suicide prevention plans with the goal of reducing the suicide rate by 10% by 2020. The recommendations also recognize employment as a “health outcome” so that the NHS will become more involved in helping people find and keep jobs. More focus will also be placed on services for perinatal and postnatal care for women, and addressing inequalities in services for racial/ethnic minorities and LGBT people. Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said that the NHS is committed to improving mental health and making it as important a priority as physical health.