No more top-down reorganisation in mental health but much more funding, experts urge

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 21 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h387
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Mental health experts have called on all political parties to commit to radically boosting mental healthcare spending and cautioned against further major structural reorganisation.

They said that the quality of services varied too much and that patients needed far better access to treatments including psychological therapies, community support, and crisis care.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, estimated that a minimum 10% increase in real terms spending on mental health was required by the end of the next parliament. He said, “We can do all kinds of efficiencies, we can do all kinds of things to try and make the system as good as it can be, but there quite simply isn’t enough resource in the system.”

Claire Murdoch, chief executive of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, said it was a “disgrace” that mental healthcare had suffered from real terms “disinvestment” in recent years and from “fractured commissioning.” Calling for a new revolution in mental healthcare, she said, “The answer is not big structural reorganisation; it’s about developing pathways of care that are truly integrated.”

The pair spoke on …

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