Good performance, but room for improvement in mental healthcare

Two healthcare watchdogs have praised the improvements in mental healthcare, but call for greater involvement of people who use the services in decisions about their own care.

Good performance, but room for improvement in mental healthcare
Good performance, but room for improvement in mental healthcare

The Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) have published their national review of adult specialist community mental heal services. They have found that since the introduction of the National Service Framework for mental health, there has been a steady improvement in the range and quality of services. In addition, local implementation teams (LTIs) appear to be an effective vehicle for commissioning and delivering new models of community mental health.

However, the review points out that the pace of change and improvement has been variable, leaving some people with little of no access to care and treatment.

A total of 174 LTIs were assessed on three criteria: The involvement of the people who use the services; access to appropriate care and treatment (such as talking therapies); and recovery and social inclusion.

Whilst some LTIs were performing consistently well, the review found 'considerable underperformance' in each of the three areas assessed.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said: 'Care must meet the individual's needs, but only half of those we interviewed had their own careplan, while only half had the number of someone to ring in a crisis.'

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