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

College responds to King's Fund report on mental health and productivity

Embargoed until 02 December 2010

Commenting on the King's Fund report on Mental Health and Productivity published today (2 December 2010), Professor Dinesh Bhugra, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

"Given the link between the UK’s economic wealth and mental health, the RCPsych opposes harmful or disproportionate cuts to mental health services. However, we all know that NHS services now need to do more work for less money. To achieve this, we must use clinicians’ time and expertise in a much more efficient manner. For example, quickly establishing what is wrong with a patient is key to delivering good and efficient care. Consequently, drawing on the expertise of highly-skilled staff like psychiatrists early on could result in patients being directed to the care they need more quickly, efficiently, and without repeat assessments. This is incredibly important where patients present with complex needs, or where they are experiencing a crisis.

“We do, however, have to exercise caution in making sure that change is necessary and proportionate. For example, while we welcome better community services for all, shortages in inpatient hospital beds for people with serious mental health problems continue to be reported. This is a real concern. If people do not receive the inpatient care they may need, this can lead to a further deterioration of health. We need to recognise that different patients will need different forms of care, of which community and inpatient services are both important parts. Consequently, with thoughtful and careful investment, we can transform individual lives and save the NHS money. This is not about needlessly rebuilding the NHS, but about rethinking aspects of its practice. Where such change is necessary and possible, this needs to happen.”

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896


Note to editors:

Mental health and the productivity challenge: Improving quality and value for money was published on 2 December by The King’s Fund and Centre for Mental Health. It can be downloaded at


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