Friday, November 30, 2012

Norman Lamb on the need to improve mental health services

Speaking at the 'Psychological Therapies in the NHS 2012' conference in London yesterday, the Lib Dem health minister Norman Lamb pledged himself to work to end the "institutional disadvantage  under which mental health labours among other health and care services,”

Norman said he has asked officials to look at whether the exemption of mental health from NHS rules on choice can be removed:

"It seems to me that if any group of patients can benefit from being empowered by being able to choose their provider or which therapy they would like, then it is people with mental ill health."

He also said that officials are exploring the possibility of payment by results in both adult and child mental health services:

"If that project blossoms as we hope it might, then it will transform the commissioning process in a way we simply haven’t seen before. “It will push up standards throughout the system and encourage innovation, invention and inspiration."

Someone who heard Norman's speech told me that there was not a great deal new in it, but his obvious commitment to improving mental health services was impressive.

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