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The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health sets out the unarguable agenda for the reform of mental health care. The strategy aims to increase the quality and availability of care and treatment, improve outcomes and well being, and tackle the wider costs of mental ill health to health services and society. Now more than one year on from publication, it is time to deliver the actions required that will make the strategy a reality. Early action and a collective focus will benefit not just people who use services, their families and communities, but benefit the NHS itself and drive a more equal, balanced and sustainable health and care system.
Mental health problems represent the largest single cause of disability in the UK and are estimated to cost the economy £105 billion a year – roughly the cost of the entire NHS. Although there are challenges and competing pressures faced by the NHS and its key partners, there are also opportunities to invest in mental health and deliver a more sustainable health and care system. The target of one million more people receiving the care they need by 2020/21 is well underway with at least 120,000 more people receiving mental health services in the first year of the strategy. Improved access to care is about people seeing and feeling the benefits of change, a maintained focus on delivery, commitment and collaboration will ensure more and more people receive the care when and where they need.
Our conference agenda will share personal experiences of mental health users, provide an invaluable update on the roadmap to improved mental health care, and highlight real examples of service transformation and new approaches to care. Mental Health: Making the Forward Plans a Reality will help delegates deliver transformation in health and care services and ensure that the new opportunities to benefit people with mental health needs are leveraged to their maximum.
The planning guidance and blueprint makes it clear that mental health is a must-do for the NHS and providers. Commitment towards the target of one million more people receiving the care they need by 2020/21 can only be met through the sufficient prioritisation of mental health at a local level, plans spell out the actions required of commissioners and providers. Transparency of spending, independent scrutiny of investment and commissioner plans should ensure outcomes are delivered.
Often described as a Cinderella service within the NHS funding and investment still in care remains a challenge. The Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt has admitted the government had endured a “slightly patchy start” with funding which much of what has previously been announced struggling to reach the frontline. To help tackle this the Mental Health Investment Standard is planned to be met across England as a whole in 2017/18 and 2018/19. A new Mental health Dashboard has been launched to provide unprecedented transparency of performance against key indicators such as spending allocations and outcomes and expectations of local providers.
Improving outcomes for children and young people is a priority for the Five Year Forward View and there is expected to be a significant expansion in access to high-quality treatment in the community so that 70,000 more children and young people are seen each year. There has been £149 million invested in CCGs for children and young people’s mental health in 2016/17 and a further £25 million from NHS England to improve waiting times and reduce backlogs. The aim is that by 2020/21 95% of children and young people will access treatment within four weeks for routine cases and with one week for urgent cases. To tackle the gaps in access to treatment to perinatal mental health services £40 million is available over three years for the growth of evidence-based specialist community teams with at least 750 more women receiving access to specialist care this year.
By 2020/21 it is expected that an extra 600,000 people with common mental health problems will access psychological therapies each year, at the same time new services are being out in place with integrated physical healthcare. 22 new sites started from January 2017 with the aim of delivering a holistic approach to the person’s care and helping to reduce pressure on acute NHS services. The NHS mental health programme is supporting community services for adults in delivering high-quality, evidence-based interventions which improve outcomes, enable recovery and integrate with other local services to better manage demand.
A new national standard for waiting times are seeing people with a suspected first episode of psychosis commence treatment within two weeks. 77% of people detained in low and medium secure services are men and Black British groups are four times more likely to be detained in secure care than White British. A national audit of mental health secure services has seen a model for community forensic services and care pathways. Furthermore the first strategy for improving the mental and physical health of people in the criminal justice system has seen an expansion of liaison and diversion services to cover courts and police custody suites.
Wider determinants of health such as housing, schooling and employment, are key to deliver the transformation needed in mental health services and care. Sustainability and Transformation plans are seen as a key delivery vehicle for improved mental health services and advanced plans provide strong examples of collaboration across health and care systems can benefit people with mental health needs.
Our conference agenda will share personal experiences of mental health users, provide an invaluable update on the roadmap to improved mental health care, and highlight real examples of service transformation and new approaches to care. This conference will detail how we can make the implementation plans a reality and help reach a million more people a year by 2020/21.
Public Health England is supporting local partners to deliver plans which prevent mental illness and promote good mental health. The Prevention Concordat Programme for Better Mental Health will mean that every local area will have effective planning arrangements for prevention by 2018. Furthermore the national suicide prevention strategy is committed to a 10% reduction in suicides by 2020/21 by developing guidance and action plans.
Improved access to care is about people seeing and feeling the benefits of change, a maintained focus on delivery, commitment and collaboration will ensure more and more people receive the care when and where they need.
In 2003 Frank Bruno was sectioned for the first time and diagnosed as having Bipolar disorder. His well documented illness put Frank in the public eye and he has used this media attention to help with the stigma attached to mental health and to help raise the standards of care given to those living with mental health issues.
Now more than one year on from publication of The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, it is time to deliver the actions required that will make the strategy a reality. Early action and a collective focus will benefit not just people who use services, their families and communities, but benefit the NHS itself and drive a more equal, balanced and sustainable health and care system.
NHS England have begun plans to roll out a program for digitally-enabled healthcare to help improve productivity and widen patient choice over the type of treatment they receive. Ieso Digital Health are commissioned to deliver Online Talking Therapy on behalf of the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Services in many areas across the UK. This sessions will explore the use of technology to facilitate widespread access to effective, evidence-based mental health therapy, with improved clinical outcomes.
The workforce strategy will be essential to those responsible for commissioning or delivering mental health services and those involved in training in mental health.
Wider determinants of health such as housing and accommodation, are key to deliver the transformation needed in mental health services and care.
Exploring the growing gap between government ambitions and the reality of the rising demands and pressures on frontline services.
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