It’s been quite a week so far for mental
Tuesday saw publication of the Mandate for the new NHS Commissioning
Board, which enshrined parity of esteem for mental health – a
very welcome and big step forward.
Of course we wait to see how this will be
translated on the ground, but after ongoing work with government, I
was gratified to see this important and symbolic recognition for
parity. We are continuing to do work on how parity can be
implemented in practice as I believe there is a crucial role for
the College, and psychiatrists more broadly, to work with
commissioners when the new commissioning arrangements begin in
April next year.
Wednesday saw publication of the Schizophrenia
Commission report, ‘The Abandoned
Illness’ in the morning, with our own annual awards ceremony
held in central London later that day.
The Commission’s report gave a bleak
assessment of the state of services throughout the country, which
made for pretty grim reading. As a College, we want the very best
treatment and services for those with mental illness, and the
report’s 42 recommendations seem very sensible, although we will
need time to assess them all in detail.
We do of course live in difficult times, with
big pressures on NHS budgets, so I hope that the report succeeds in
raising awareness of the need for investment in high quality
services and helps to improve understanding of this stigmatised and
Our members work hard, often under difficult
circumstances, to provide the highest quality of care they can, so
it gave me enormous pleasure to recognise the best of the best at
annual awards ceremony last night.
Hosted by the author and journalist, Allison
Pearson, all of the winners and nominees demonstrated effective
clinical practice, care and compassion – hallmarks of great
I was also delighted that our awards for the
first time celebrated the contribution of service users and carers.
We are committed to working closely with our own service
user recovery forum and carers’ forum, whose members make a
major contribution to all aspects of our work.
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