The Royal College of Psychiatrists is today
(21 June 2010) publishing 17 new recommendations for the redesign
of mental health services. The recommendations are the result of a
major College enquiry into the future development of UK mental
The enquiry was launched following the
publication of Mental Health and the Economic Downturn in
November 2009 – a piece of joint work carried out between
the RCPsych, NHS Confederation and the London School of Economics.
The enquiry represents a serious effort to consider service
redesign in mental healthcare, and give voice to the people who
work at the heart of our mental health services.
More than 50 psychiatrists, psychologists,
nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, commissioners,
trust chief executives, academics, health economists, voluntary
sector chief executives, service users, carers, medical directors
and national mental health programme leads gave evidence to the
enquiry. The resulting paper,
Looking Ahead: Future development of UK mental health
services, makes recommendations based on their views.
Professor Dinesh Bhugra, President of the
Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: "We know there is growing
pressure on NHS services to cut costs and do more work for less
money. Although the College is opposed to disproportionate or
harmful cuts to mental health services, we are aware that
efficiency savings do need to be found.
"Our enquiry explored ways of creating
efficiencies and improving productivity through redesigning
services and care pathways, making better use of consultant
expertise, the need for standardised outcome measures in mental
health, and the need for more family-based mental health services.
The recommendations covers areas such as the use of out-of-area
treatments and the paucity of mental health services for older
people – where efficiency savings can, and should, be made.
"More widely, the recommendations call for
greater partnership working between the statutory and voluntary
sectors, and for strengthened commissioning arrangements to enable
this to happen, as well as renewed effort to ensure that supported
accommodation for people with mental health problems is available
in a timely and safe manner."
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The paper, Looking ahead – Future development of UK mental health services: recommendations from a Royal College of Psychiatrists’ enquiry, is published on 21 June 2010.
A separate document containing the various views expressed by everyone who took part in the project is available to download from www.rcpsych.ac.uk/redesign