This week I will be surveying members to gauge
your views on the Health and Social Care Bill in advance of the
House of Lords Report Stage on 8 February.
From the outset of the Bill, the College has
endeavoured to secure provisions that will ensure a parity of
esteem between physical and mental health. This is important given
that mental illness represents 23% of the disease
burden1, but accounts for only 11% of the health
Equally, we have continued to work to bring
about needed changes which are critical for high-quality patient
care and postgraduate medical education.
A previous survey of members (October 2011)
showed strong concerns that the practical consequences of the Bill
may be entirely different from the principles which were originally
Whilst the original aims of the reforms are
laudable (improving the quality of care through national and local
accountability, better integration of health and social care,
involvement of clinicians in commissioning, and tackling
inequalities) the question to be answered at this point in time is
are there fundamental flaws in the Bill which could work
We continue to have discussions with
Government, other Royal Medical Colleges, and key stakeholders as
to how we can have a lasting, rather than short-term impact, and to
work to deliver high-quality patient care in the event of the Bill
being halted, substantial amendments being made, or the Bill going
through much as it is.
I would like to encourage you to respond to
this survey to inform our discussions and our future policy
direction. A link to our relevant members is being sent out
today (24 January 2012) via email. If you have problems
accessing the survey, please contact Chris Fitch.
1. HM Government. (2011). No
health without mental health A cross-government mental health
outcomes strategy for people of all ages.
2. Department of Health (2009). Departmental
Report 2009: The Health and Personal Social Services
3. RCPsych publishes results of Health
and Social Care Bill survey
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