The Royal College of Psychiatrists has
clarified its position on the Health and Social Care Bill in
a new statement published today.
The College believes the Bill is fundamentally
flawed and will not improve the health and care of people with
mental illness. The College is therefore not able to support the
Bill as it currently stands.
Today’s statement reflects the concerns of
psychiatrists who responded to a new survey of their views on the
Health and Social Care Bill. This is the third time the College has
surveyed its membership about the Bill. The first survey was
carried out back in October 2011. This latest survey – the results
of which are published
on the College website today – finds that 85% of responding
psychiatrists believe the Bill will have a negative impact on the
health and social care system, and 80% consider the Bill to be
Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal
College of Psychiatrists, said: “For the last 18 months, the
College has actively engaged with civil servants and
parliamentarians in relation to the NHS reforms. However, the
results of our latest membership survey clearly show that
psychiatrists have not been reassured.
“We have stopped short of calling for the Bill
to be withdrawn, but believe that it is wrong for the government to
continue without making the significant changes that we and other
medical professionals have been calling for over many months. We
understand that the government is due to publish a large number of
amendments to the Bill shortly. On behalf of our members and
patients, we will scrutinise these amendments carefully in order to
make an informed decision on whether or not they address the very
real concerns of psychiatrists.”
The College wants the Bill to ensure:
- parity of esteem between mental health and
- a reduction rather than an increase in health
- 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
McLoughlin in the Communications Department.
Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 07738 349070
Note to editors:
1,217 College members responded to the latest survey. A breakdown of responses to the survey’s quantitative questions have been posted on the College website. Responses to the qualitative questions are still being analysed. The results of this analysis will be published on the College website during the week beginning 6 February 2012.