UK mental health services falling behind those for physical healthRuth Mabhiza
A new report on current trends in Schizophrenia services in the UK launched by Janssen has found that mental health services are falling behind physical health services.
Newer, more innovative commissioning approaches have been introduced in physical healthcare, however findings show that “the vast majority” of mental health providers are still using “outdated” approaches, such as outdated block contracts, which provide no transparency on how funding is used and whether they are resulting in beneficial outcomes for patients, it argues.
According to the report, data show that, in 2017/18, more than one in ten Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) failed to meet the Mental Health Investment Standard (MHIS) requirement to increase mental health funding in line with annual CCG budget increases.
It also claimed that despite its low prevalence, schizophrenia places a significant financial burden on both individuals affected and the economy, with £11.8 billion societal costs and £7.2 billion public sector costs, the equivalent of £96,000 combined total costs per person with the condition.
The news comes shortly after the government made various promises for mental health funding in the NHS Long-Term plan, including a rise in funding by £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24, faster growth of investment in adult mental health services, and specific waiting time targets for emergency mental health services from 2020.
The report calls on the Department of Health and NHS England to address a number of areas which could reinvigorate progress in this area and help pave the way towards greater parity for mental and physical health.
Currently the NHS loses over 10,000 mental health staff each year, and less than 50% of community teams offer an adequate 24/7 crisis service.
Schizophrenia is a serious and challenging mental illness that has a considerable impact on the physical as well as mental health and wellbeing of people living with the condition and their carers.
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