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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

College responds to Government Spending Review

Embargoed until 20 October 2010

Responding to the Government's Spending Review, Professor Dinesh Bhugra, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

"The ring-fencing of the NHS budget in the Spending Review is to be welcomed, as are the promises to expand psychological therapies for people with mental illness, provide treatment for mentally ill offenders in the criminal justice system, protect the medical research budget, and give an extra £2 billion for social care. However the NHS will still have to make £20 billion of savings, which will put huge pressures on services. Historically, mental health services have been an easy target for cuts because mental health has been poorly understood and stigmatised. It’s a challenge to us all to ensure this does not happen again.

"The RCPsych is most concerned that the mental health workforce should not become deskilled by a lack of training opportunities, or become demoralised by ill-thought out staffing cuts or service closures. These would have a disastrous knock-on effect on individuals, society and the wider economy.

"Efficiency savings do need to be found – but these must be informed by a robust evidence base of what really works. The RCPsych, together with other partners in mental health, will do all it can to safeguard the quality of care for those with mental illness. We will do this by seeking solutions to existing barriers to good care, and helping to identify ways of streamlining systems and reducing waste."


For further information, please contact:
Kathy Oxtoby or Deborah Hart in the Communications Department.

Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 0203 701 2538

 

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