No treatment for two-thirds of Britons with depression
- 14 Aug
The incoming president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has said that less than a third of people with common mental health problems get any treatment at all - a situation the nation would be aghast about if they had cancer.
While the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has pledged to deliver "parity of esteem" for mental and physical health services, the treatment gap is now so huge that it may prove impossible to bridge in the current financial climate, said Professor Simon Wessely of King's College London in his first interview since election to the post.
"People are still routinely waiting for - well, we don't really know, but certainly more than 18 weeks, possibly up to two years, for their treatment and that is routine in some parts of the country. Some children aren't getting any treatment at all - literally none. That's what's happening. So although we have the aspiration, the gap is now so big and yet there is no more money," he said.
Wessely said there would be a public outcry if those who went without treatment were cancer patients rather than people with mental health problems. Imagine, he told the Guardian, the reaction if he gave a talk that began: "'So, we have a problem in cancer service at the moment. Only 30% of people with cancer are getting treatment, so 70% of them don't get any treatment for their cancer at all and it's not even recognised."
If he were truly talking about cancer, he said, "you'd be absolutely appalled and you would be screaming from the rooftops."Wessely said he had asked Simon Stevens, the NHS England chief executive, how the gap would be bridged but was told that resolving the issue would involve a "much longer conversation with the public".
"I think what he means is basically, if people really want true parity in the sense of actual 90% of mental health patients treated within 18 weeks, just like they are for other disorders, that is going to have to mean money will have to move from acute to mental health. Genuine money. As there is no more money, that would mean significant losses in other sectors. I think he was saying we would need a pretty good political imperative - we would need to know that people were actually on board for that - and I don't know the answer."
The UK is also seriously short of psychiatric beds. "The fact that people are travelling hundreds of miles for a bed, the fact that bed occupancy is now 100% everywhere - in some trusts it is 110% and we're hot-bedding - is a symptom of a system [in crisis]. Relatives and patients hate it. Junior doctors hate it - they spend all their time on the phone. Sometimes bad decisions are made just to get a bed. But we don't think the answer is just let us have some more beds because those will probably fill up as well. We've been told for years that if we just get community care right we won't need beds. That's clearly not true. We will be announcing a commission on beds but it's really on systems. Beds are symptomatic of a problem."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Source: The Guardian.
- 11 Sep
People in Bedfordshire can find mental health support through an audio guide
The guides have been written by clinical psychologists and are available to download in print or listen to as an audio file, reports Bedfordshire News.Dr Judy Baxter, Clinical Director with BCCG and...
- 10 Sep
Police officers in Dorset to receive mental health training
The partnership with the University comes as part of the county’s Mental Health Street Triage Project. It is hoped to equip officers with improved knowledge and skills to assess members of the...
- 09 Sep
People in Peterborough can refer themselves for mental health services
Through a drive to offer support to more people and ease pressure on doctors, people living in Peterborough can self-refer themselves to mental health services, reports Peterborough Today.Dr Adrian...
- 08 Sep
The first mental health centre for men
The site has been set up by Alex Eaton, whose dad took his own life and has suffered with mental health problems himself, in Burton upon Trent, reports BBC Newsbeat.Mr Eaton said: "We are the only...
- 07 Sep
NHS trust told no mental health beds available
Dr Bohdan Solomka has said that on Sunday a lack of beds were applied across the NHS and among private providers, reports the BBC. The director of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trusts...
- 07 Sep
Over 16,000 mental health referrals for young people have been rejected
Between July last year and June this year, data from the NHS has found that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services rejected 5,396 referrals, reports STV News.Over the last three years 16,565...
- 04 Sep
New mental health centre to open in Ardwick
Plans to build a new £6m treatment and recovery centre in Manchester have been revealed. It will be built in Ardwick and be run by Alternative Futures Group, reports the Manchester Evening...
- 03 Sep
Research finds more chance of re-offending if mental health issues are present
Research has found that ex-prisoners with mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse are more likely to commit violent offences after release than other former prisoners, reports the...
- 02 Sep
Drop in the number of people with mental health issues held in cells
Recent figures have found that the Crisis Care Concordat has seen over 10,000 people receive care from mental health nurses with the support from police officers, reports the Burton Mail.Figures have...
- 02 Sep
Mental health social work scheme accepting applications
100 places are now available for applicants who have a 2:1 or above undergraduate degree and can demonstrate attributes such as resilience and empathy, reports Community Care.The Think Ahead...
Revenue Optimisation "I am really impressed with Support Solutions and how small organisations are supported with information and training" Susan Harrison (Tenant Support Services)