Delivery Plan For Mental Health

Better prevention, more local care and improved support to help aid recovery are to be the focus of mental health services in the future, according to a newly published delivery plan Delivering for Mental Health. There are also to be a new set of high-level targets to provide better care in the community by cutting back on the increase of anti-depressant prescribing by supporting people in different ways, and reducing the number of people with mental ill-health who need to be re-admitted to hospital.

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said: “Improving mental health services in Scotland remains a top priority for the Executive. We have made significant progress in improving services and reducing stigma around mental ill-health but we now want to take this further. Our new wide-ranging plan will change the way mental health services are delivered in the future so there is a focus on better prevention, more local care and improved support to help aid recovery.

“It is vital that services are sensitive to people’s individual needs and focus on social inclusion so people feel able to seek help earlier. Improvements to access and quality of services will meet the needs of everyone, from the quarter of the population who will experience mild to moderate mental ill-health in their lifetime to the two per cent of people who will experience severe and enduring mental illness.

“Children and young people’s mental health needs are a priority too and we have set out a commitment for everyone working with or caring for children to have basic mental health training by 2008. We are also committed to halving the number of admissions of children and young people to adult beds by 2009.

“We have also set ambitious new targets of reducing anti-depressant prescribing and repeat hospital admissions for mental illness by 2009. NHS Boards working with their partners have several years to make the necessary service changes to help them meet these targets, such as developing more talking and psychological therapies.

“We will invest £2.5 million of new money to help implement the Plan and we are working with NHS Education for Scotland to enable mental health staff to gain the skills required to offer more talking and psychological therapies.”

Dr Tom Brown, Chair of The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said: “The plan, as well as the new targets, underline the Executive’s increased emphasis on the importance of the promotion of good mental health and the care and treatment of the mentally ill. We wish to collaborate with the Scottish Executive to take this plan forward.”

The mental health delivery plan seeks to integrate mental health services into the core work of the NHS. There are two new targets which are:
To reduce the yearly increase in the prescribing of anti-depressants to zero by 2010
To reduce the number of hospital re-admissions by 10percent for people who have already had hospital admission of over seven days (within one year) by the end of December 2009

There is also one existing target (of reducing suicide rates by 20percent by 2013) and collectively these targets are designed to introduce service change and benefit patients. There are also 14 commitments that cover areas such as increasing assessments of patients’ mental and physical health needs, more mental health and suicide prevention and awareness training for key staff and more community care.