On 8 March Sajid Javid, the Health and Social Secretary, gave a speech on healthcare reform. Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, responded:
“Why was mental health largely forgotten, yet again, in the Health Secretary’s speech on healthcare reform?
"For the 1.4 million people waiting for mental health treatment, the Health Secretary’s speech will be very disappointing. Waiting times for treatment are unacceptable. Urgent action is needed now.
"We need a fully-funded mental health recovery plan to respond to the mental health crisis to expand services to meet unprecedented demand, train more psychiatrists, and replace crumbling facilities across the country.
“The nation’s mental health relies on long-term workforce planning. We look forward to engaging with Government to quickly progress a proper long-term workforce plan. But a plan without funding will not address chronic workforce shortages.
“The Health Secretary's commitment to invest more in prevention is vital to securing the long-term future of the NHS, provided it includes mental health. The upcoming cross-government strategy on mental health presents an opportunity to put prevention of mental illness at the heart of the NHS road to recovery.”