Good Performance But Room For Improvement In Mental Health

Two healthcare watchdogs have praised the improvements in mental healthcare, but call for greater involvement of people who use the services in decisions about their own care. The Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) have published their national review of adult specialist community mental heal services.

{mosimage}The two watchdog organisations have found that since the introduction of the National Service Framework for mental health, there has been a steady improvement in both the range and quality of service provision. In addition, local implementation teams (LTIs) are beginning to emerge as effective vehicles for the commissioning and delivery of new models of community mental health care.

A total of 174 LTIs were assessed on three criteria: The involvement of the people who use the services; access to appropriate care and treatment (such as talking therapies); and recovery and social inclusion. Whilst some LTIs were performing consistently well, the review found ‘considerable underperformance’ in each of the three areas assessed.

However, the review points out that the pace of change and improvement has been variable, leaving some people with little of no access to care and treatment.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said: ‘Care must meet the individual’s needs, but only half of those we interviewed had their own careplan, while only half had the number of someone to ring in a crisis.’