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More focus on mental health needed

Not enough priority is being given to mental health by flagship NHS vanguards, a new report by The King's Fund and Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) has said.

Not enough priority is being given to mental health by flagship NHS vanguards, a new report by The King's Fund and Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) has said.

The Mental Health and New Models of Care report looked into how mental health services fit into the new models of integrated care being trialled at vanguards.

Vanguards were developed as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View published in 2014, which set out the future of the health service based on new models of care.

According to NHS England, their aim is to spread excellence in hospital services and management, driving efficiency and improvement across the country.

The report found the approach to mental health in some vanguards has had a positive impact, citing the example of the Tower Hamlets

Not enough priority is being given to mental health by flagship NHS vanguards, a new report by The King's Fund and Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) has said.


Picture: iStock

The Mental Health and New Models of Care report looked into how mental health services fit into the new models of integrated care being trialled at vanguards.

Vanguards were developed as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View published in 2014, which set out the future of the health service based on new models of care.

According to NHS England, their aim is to spread excellence in hospital services and management, driving efficiency and improvement across the country.

The report found the approach to mental health in some vanguards has had a positive impact, citing the example of the Tower Hamlets Together vanguard in East London, where the number of bed days accounted for by people with dementia, serious mental illness and depression has reduced by 12.7%.

Priorities

But other vanguard areas have given mental health less priority and the report suggests service changes have not been ‘ambitious’ enough.

RCP president Sir Simon Wessely called the report’s findings ‘worrying’, backing calls for more mental health support in GP surgeries and hospitals, and to consider mental health as a key part of public health.

The King’s Fund chief executive Chris Ham said: ‘Some of the vanguards have made real progress on mental health, but overall we need to go much further.

'The approaches being developed in the vanguards are intended to be a blueprint for the future of the NHS, so mental health needs to be at their core.’


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