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

College welcomes Lords vote for mental health

Embargoed until 09 February 2012

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has welcomed the news that the House of Lords has voted by 244 to 240 in favour of an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill to place an explicit duty on the Secretary of State to promote parity of esteem between mental and physical health services.

Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: "We were delighted this amendment was passed, as we have long campaigned for mental health to be on an equal footing with physical health. However, the College still has major concerns about many aspects of the Bill and believes it will remain fundamentally flawed unless it undergoes further significant revision."

In a statement on 1 February, the College stated that it wants the Bill to ensure:

  • parity of esteem between mental health and physical health;
  • a reduction rather than an increase in health inequalities;
  • that integrated care is safeguarded over competition;
  • that competition is only used in the NHS where it can be shown to clearly benefit patients;
  • continuation of a system of effective postgraduate medical education and training;
  • meaningful involvement of service users and carers in needs assessment and commissioning processes; and
  • flexibility for clinicians to undertake work for the benefit of the wider NHS.

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


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