RCPsych responds to Government announcing Vaccine Taskforce model to tackle health challenges

Press release
28 November 2022

Today, the Government announced £113.2 million of funding to launch four healthcare missions, in cancer, mental health, addiction and obesity.

This includes £40.2 million for research into mental health to develop and introduce digital technologies to support patients. This could include technology allowing patients to monitor their mental health at home and instantly report to their doctor if in need of help.

As well as £30.5 million, including funds contributed through collaboration with Scottish Government, to be deployed to accelerate the development of new technologies to prevent deaths from overdoses across the UK.

Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said:
“We welcome today’s announcement. Investment in technology can improve care, increase productivity, and release staff time. We know that technologies play a critical role in improving access, supporting patients and enabling mental health services to deliver the care people need.

“However, investing in technology cannot be seen as a panacea for mental health services. As the government seeks to expand and improve the use of technology, it is essential this is matched by a fully resourced mental health workforce plan and a focus on tackling the root causes of mental illness. 

“As Government rightly pointed out today, poor mental health costs the economy £118 billion a year. But there is also a human cost; the cost-of-living crisis poses an acute threat to the country’s mental health, with mental health referrals are already at record levels and a backlog of approximately 1.4 million people still waiting to start treatment. Urgent government action is required to relieve unprecedented levels of pressure on the NHS and mental health services."

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