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

College response to Health and Social Care Bill

Embargoed until 19 January 2011

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 health services.

"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.


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

Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 0203 701 2538

 

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

 

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