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Adviser is sacked for asking whether funding for talking therapies is “new”

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d875 (Published 08 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d875
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1London

A row broke out this week over whether money allocated by the UK government to extend access to talking therapies—a lynchpin of its new mental health strategy—is new or was to be found from efficiency savings made elsewhere in the NHS.

David Richards, an independent mental health adviser to the Department of Health for England, was sacked on 4 February after he called the statement by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, that there would be £400m of “new” money available to boost access to talking therapies “a lie.”

Professor Richards, head of mental health services research at the University of Exeter, has been heavily involved in developing the improving access to psychological therapies programme (IAPT) for the health department. Better access to talking therapies is a key element of the strategy document No Health without Mental Health, published on 2 …

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