In response to the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg’s launch of the Mental Health Action Plan which pushes for greater Parity of Esteem between physical and mental health services, IMHSA chair Dr Alison Rose-Quirie said:
“The Deputy Prime Minister’s words are welcome, but this sits in sharp contrast to the investment we see on the ground. Monitor’s recent confirmation of 1.8% efficiency savings in mental health has dismayed providers, especially when other services have secured a less dramatic efficiency saving. Regardless of the acute sector’s costs for implementing the Francis and Keogh reports, this is a clear example of institutional funding bias and further demonstrates a lack of Parity. Mental health services have also seen a 2% real terms cut in funding in 2013.
“In light of reports in the Sunday Times that bed shortages in psychiatric units have led to suicides, there is a clear opportunity for the NHS to lift the moratorium on the commissioning of new mental health services. This will increase access to treatments, create more beds and save lives.
“In order that mental health doesn’t lose out any longer, there has to be decisive action. We welcome the Government’s statement on Parity between mental and physical health, but this has to be supported and reinforced by the system and by NHS decision makers, in order to fully achieve Parity of Esteem.”
Notes to Editors:
2. IMHSA is a leading group of independent mental health service providers. Members include The Ansel Group, Care UK, Cygnet, Huntercombe, Partnerships in Care, Priory Group, Alpha Hospitals, The Retreat and St Andrew’s. We are dedicated to delivering improved outcomes for people with mental health problems.