“The Independent Mental Health Service Alliance (IMHSA) is delighted to see the strong focus of the Mandate on ensuring parity between physical and mental health.

With 1 in 4 people in this country experiencing mental health problems within their lifetime and 23% of overall illnesses in the UK relating to issues of mental health, a focus on parity is long overdue. These are very stark statistics that need to be addressed. Mental Health has up to now had an institutional disadvantage within our health system, leading to those with serious mental health conditions dying on average 20 years earlier than others.

The challenge now is to embed the principles outlined in the document amongst commissioners at a local level, to ensure real integrated care is delivered for patients and service users across the system.”

IMHSA Chair Dr. Alison Rose-Quirie

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. For more information, please contact Gemma Stockwood on 07835770312 or 020 7227 1640.

2. About IMHSA: IMHSA is a leading group of independent service providers dedicated to the delivery of improved outcomes for people with mental health problems. The members are The Ansel Group, Care UK; Cygnet Health; Huntercombe Group, Partnerships in Care, St Andrew's Healthcare and The Retreat at York. Collectively we run more than 500 settings across the country, delivering a wide range of high-quality services to adults with mental health problems.