New mental health ratings welcomed

NHS England has welcomed the announcement that easy to access ratings for mental health hospitals will be published on MyNHS from today.

Dr Geraldine Strathdee, NHS England National Clinical Director for Mental Health, said it was “excellent news the public would now be able to see key information on their local service in a central place.”

The announcement has been made on World Mental Health Day by the Department of Health shortly after it was announced an extra £120m will be injected into mental health services from next year along with new waiting time targets.

Dr Strathdee said: “There is an increasing demand for the high quality services that everyone deserves but we know there is still too much variation across the county. A key reason for this is because we need better information about our services and how they are performing.

“This website will help patients to understand more about where they are accessing treatment and will improve treatment for patients – a key focus of our push for parity of esteem with physical health services.”

Dr Strathdee has also today in a blog highlighted the need to deliver real improvements in mental health care. She says early treatment means a better result for patients.

NHS England can reveal, following analysis, that spending on mental health services is set to rise by £120m this year.

GPs, who commission the majority of mental health services locally, are showing a spending increase of 1.2 per cent from £6,715m in 13/14 to £6,794m in 14/15.

Total mental health spending, which also includes spending on specialised services and the justice service, will rise from £8.5bn in 2013-14 to £8.62bn in this financial year.

Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s director for people with long term conditions, said: “Today, on World Mental Health Day, it is good to be able to highlight an increase in spending locally on mental health.

“We must make sure patients get the right care as close to home as possible. While these decisions are made locally, we are supporting CCGs to deliver high quality care and parity of esteem for mental health services – both of which are a priority for NHS England.

“We are encouraging those trusts delivering extremely successful schemes all over the country to share their innovations and learn from each other. This is how we will improve services and effect important change.”

For specialised services, mental health spending is forecast to increase from £1,763m in 13/14 to £1,798m in 14/15 an increase of 2 per cent.

The remaining £6m will be invested in the justice system.

Dr Jacqueline Cornish, NHS England’s National Clinical Director Children, Young People and Transition to Adulthood, has also published a blog today talking about her ‘shock’ when she realised the extent of mental ill health in children and young people.

She says: “One in ten five to fifteen year olds have a diagnosable mental health condition. Three quarters of those with severe mental health problems in adult life were diagnosed before the age of eighteen.   I am determined to see this change, and the good news is I am not alone.”