is no longer the NHS Cinderella service, says government
by Mike Andrews
funding has meant that mental health is no longer the Cinderella
service of the NHS, the government said today.
the upbeat statement by Health Minister Rosie Winterton comes one
month after a Healthcare Commission audit highlighted a culture
of violence on acute mental health and learning disability wards.
in April last year, a report by the mental health charity Rethink
stated that 50,000 people with mental health problems were being
"left to rot"
Ms Winterton's assessment followed the release today of a department
of health report claiming that key mental health targets, set by
the government in its NHS Plan of 2000, have been met.
report, entitled The 2004/05 National Survey of Investment in Mental
Health Services, states investment in mental health services has
increased by seven per cent between 2003-4 and 2004-5. This amounts
to an extra £293 million.
Winterton said the report shows the government has met targets for
setting up home treatment, assertive outreach and early intervention
report reveals other targets - such as recruiting carer support
staff - have not been met.
at the National Mental Health Nursing Conference in Leicester, Ms
Winterton said "record" amounts of money is now getting
through to frontline mental health services.
said: "For too long mental health has been seen as the 'Cinderella
service' of the health service. But this has changed
are, however, likely to fiercely dispute Ms Winterton's claim that
mental health services are equal in quality to other specialisms
within the health service.
Winterton added that the controversial mental health bill, presently
going through parliament, is a "key part" of the plan
to improve life for people with mental health problems.
workforce targets the government says it has achieved:
resolution (home treatment) teams - target 335; 343 achieved
* Early intervention teams - target 50; 109 achieved
* Gateway staff (clinicians assessing people with acute mental health
problems) - target 500; 1,520 achieved
* Assertive outreach teams - target 220; 261 achieved
workforce targets the government said it has missed:
* Carer support staff - target 700; 654 achieved
* Graduate workers (primary care staff trained in brief therapy
techniques) - target 1,000; 648 achieved
* Number of people seen by assertive outreach teams - target 20,000;
the report states:
* All prisoners with severe mental health illness (SMI) to have
care plan - target: 5,000 by April 2004; achieved
* Prison in-reach staff recruited to manage prisoners with SMI -
target: 300 in-reach staff by Dec 2004; 329 achieved
* Moving patients from high secure service - target: move 400 patients
by Dec 2004; 441 achieved.
* Create new secure personality disorder places - target: 140 new
personality disorder places by DEC 2004; achieved - 205 beds open.
Set to be increased further in June 2005.
* Creation of 75 specialist personality disorder rehabilitation
hostel places by 2004. Achieved
25, 2005: One third of mental health staff have threatened to use
medication or seclusion to control psychiatric patients' behaviour
- findings released in Healthcare Commission audit exposing culture
of violence on wards
29, 2005: Government again under fire over plans to change mental
health law - parliamentary committee warns that planned legislation
would erode civil liberties
19, 2004: 50,000 people with mental health problems 'left to rot'
- warns the charity Rethink. But health minister Rosie Winterton
puts the case for the government.
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