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
“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
“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
McLoughlin in the Communications Department.
Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 07738 349070