Home > Latest News > Environmental Health > Public Health >

New Report Prompts Action on Mental Health

February 15, 2016
Public Health

A new report released by the NHS Independent Mental Health Taskforce has criticised the state of care for patients, pointing to long waiting lists and rising suicide rates. Ministers have immediately accepted the findings, pledging an extra £1 billion to ensure 1 million more people are treated by 2020.

Paul Farmer, who led the taskforce that issued the report said; “Mental health services have been underfunded for decades and too many people have received no help at all, leading to hundreds of thousands of lives put on hold or ruined, and thousands of tragic and unnecessary deaths,”

Research puts the cost of mental ill health to the economy, the NHS and society at £105 billion every year, with only an estimated 15% of those needing care actually receiving treatment. Mental ill health currently represents the largest single cause of disability in the UK, while suicide rates have shown an increase after years of decline.

The report sets out 58 recommendations to improve the situation, including the provision of 24/7 community based crisis services available in every area and the availability of psychiatry services at every A&E department. A freedom of information request by the BBC found that budgets for mental health trusts fell by an average 2% between 2013/14 and 2014/15. That compares to a rise of 2.6% in hospital trusts’ operating budgets, according to analysis by the Health Foundation think-tank.

You can view a full copy of The Five Year Forward View For Mental Health HERE.