Parity in Progress? The All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health’s inquiry into parity of esteem for mental health

All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health, March 2015

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health, chaired by Conservative MP James Morris, held a year-long inquiry that found ‘unacceptably poor’ provision of mental health care, which the group said would not be tolerated in the rest of the NHS.

The APPG’s report found that there were three key areas where the lack of equality between mental and physical health services was most evident:

– Premature death People with serious mental illnesses die on average 15–20 years earlier than those without
– Emergency care People experiencing a mental health crisis often do not receive timely and appropriate support from mental health services. In 2012/13 some 8,000 people were detained in police cells because of the lack of NHS alternatives.
– Public health Despite 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year, local authority public health strategies concentrate overwhelmingly on physical health, with just 1.4% of public health spending allocated to mental health.

The Group’s recommendations include:

– A national target for reducing premature death among people with mental health problems
– A wider range of community support services to reduce the numbers of people experiencing a mental health crisis being held in police cells
– Mental Health Champions in all local authorities to ensure mental health is prioritised in public health strategies.
– A review of how Government ensures the NHS carries out its commitment to improving mental health services.

The group has called for the next Government to accelerate its efforts to bring mental health services up to the standard of physical health services.

Click here to read the full report.