Commenting on the Health and Social Care Bill,
introduced into Parliament today (19 January 2011), Dr Laurence
Mynors-Wallis, Registrar of the Royal College of Psychiatrists,
said: "While the College welcomes many aspects of the Bill, it is
concerned – along with many others – about the pace of change.
"We are particularly concerned that in some
areas the new structures will not have the skills or expertise to
support mental health commissioning. We therefore believe, along
with all the other medical royal colleges, that commissioning must
involve a close working relationship between GPs and specialists.
The College would be dismayed if psychiatrists were not closely
involved with local consortia of GPs in the development of mental
"There is a danger that, in the new system,
services will go to the cheapest provider at the expense of
quality. There is also a danger that, if a multiplicity of
providers are delivering different aspects of care,
that care may be fragmented and patients may fall
between gaps in services.
"As psychiatrists, our overriding concern is
for improvements to the care and treatment of patients. There must
continue to be an emphasis on the care of mental health patients
with complex needs, who will need to access services provided by
both health and social care. It is important that their care is not
compromised by the need to provide good quality services for more
common mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression – the
needs of the many must not overwhelm the needs of the few."
For a longer response, read Dr Laurence
Mynors-Wallis' letter to College Members
about the Health and Social Care Bill.
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Note to editors:
The Health and Social Care Bill was introduced into Parliament on 19 January 2011. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Legislation/Actsandbills/HealthandSocialCareBill2011/index.htm