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

Schizophrenia Commission

Embargoed until 14 November 2012

Responding to the Schizophrenia Commission report, ‘The Abandoned Illness’, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Sue Bailey, said:


“This report paints a pretty bleak picture of care for severely mentally ill people in some areas at a time of huge pressure on NHS budgets and services. I hope that it will raise awareness of the need for investment in high quality services and improve understanding of this highly stigmatised and misunderstood condition.


“As psychiatrists, our mission is to improve the lives of people with mental illness and we have a key role in treating and supporting people with schizophrenia.


“Our members are working very hard, often under difficult circumstances, to provide the best quality of care they can. We acknowledge that mental health services can improve and we have worked with Rethink and others to make the case to government for parity of esteem for mental health to close the funding and treatment gap. I was very pleased to see this given a formal commitment with yesterday’s publication of the Mandate for the new NHS Commissioning Board.


“Among other things, the report highlights a lack of continuity of care between inpatient and community services and this will be a crucial area for the new NHS commissioning arrangements from April next year.


“On the issue of prescribing medication, we are committed to working with the Centre for Mental Health Prescribing (CMHP) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to review shared care of the prescribing of psychotropic medicines and any professional training needs in this area.

“We  will continue to host and support national audits such as the Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health (POMH-UK) and the National Audit of Schizophrenia*, which aim to improve prescribing practices and the quality of health care that people with mental health problems receive. We will, as recommended by the Commission, make the results of our audits public, so patients, carers and anyone with an interest will be able to see how their local Trust is performing.


“I was pleased to see that the report commends our AIMS programme (Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services), which it states is ‘helping leaders to change conditions and working practices’.

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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