Health matters: reducing health inequalities in mental illness

Public Health England, January 2019

This edition of Health matters brings together in one place the most informative data and the best evidence of what works in removing health inequalities experienced by people living with mental illness. It focuses on some of the actions that local areas can take to reduce these health inequalities, so that people with mental illness can achieve the same health outcomes and life expectancy as the rest of the population.

Click here to view the full report.

Filling the chasm: Reimagining primary mental health care

Centre for Mental Health, December 2018

Report from the Centre for Mental Health exploring a number of local initiatives which are bridging the gap between primary care and secondary care services, supporting people who fall into this ‘grey area’ due to having more complex needs, not meeting secondary care thresholds, or presenting with multiple or medically unexplained symptoms.  It looks at

  • Identifying the opportunities for prevention and promotion of mental health
  • Maximising social interventions for mental health
  • Culture change – embracing the holistic approach
  • Empowering the person – moving ‘from patient to person’
  • Bridging the gap between primary and secondary care

Click here to view the full report.

Modernising the Mental Health Act: Increasing choice, reducing compulsion: Final report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983

Department of Health and Social Care, December 2018

The final report sets out recommendations covering 4 principles that the review believes should underpin the reformed Act:

  • choice and autonomy – ensuring service users’ views and choices are respected
  • least restriction – ensuring the Act’s powers are used in the least restrictive way
  • therapeutic benefit – ensuring patients are supported to get better, so they can be discharged from the Act
  • people as individuals – ensuring patients are viewed and treated as rounded individuals

The review looked at:

  • rising rates of detention under the Act
  • the disproportionate number of people from black and minority ethnic groups detained under the Act
  • processes that are out of step with a modern mental health care system

Click here to view the report.

Community Mental Health Survey 2018

Care Quality Commission, December 2018

Research on the experiences of people receiving community mental health services. It finds that people’s experiences of the care they receive from community-based mental health services have continued to deteriorate. Key concerns are expressed around:

  • access to care,
  • care planning
  • mental health conditions in relation to physical health needs
  • financial advice
  • advice on benefits.

Click here to view the full report.

Children’s Mental Health briefing: A briefing by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England

Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England, November 2018

Report that finds improvement in the provision of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in most areas in the country, yet with the exception of eating disorder services, the provision of services in the youth justice system and in perinatal mental health care, the rate of progress is slow. A vast gap remains between what is provided and what children need. As a result, the current rate of progress is still not good enough for the majority of children who require help but are not receiving it. Main findings include:

  • Of more than 338,000 children referred to CAMHS last year, less than a third (31%) received treatment within the year.
  • Another 37% were not accepted into treatment or discharged after an assessment appointment, and 32% were still on waiting lists at the end of the year.
  • Less than 3% of children in England accessed CAMHS last year, a small fraction of those who need help. This is partly because many children who seek help are not accepted into treatment, but also because many children do not know they have a problem or do not seek help.
  • Of those children who did enter treatment, around half did so within six weeks.
    However, nearly 80% of children entering eating disorders treatment are seen within four weeks.
  • Most areas are increasing funding for CAMHS, but parity with spending on adult mental health services remains a distant prospect. Nearly fifteen times as much is spent on adult mental health as on child mental health.
  • In cash terms this means children’s mental health services require an additional £1.7bn a year to achieve equivalent funding to that provided to adult mental health
  • Some areas are already far exceeding the existing NHS target to be treating a third of children with significant need (based on 2004 levels of prevalence) by 2021. Yet for every area exceeding what NHS England expects of them, there is an area failing to deliver.

Click here to view the full report.

Voluntary Reporting On Disability, Mental Health And Wellbeing: A Framework To Support Employers To Report Voluntarily On Disability, Mental Health And Wellbeing In The Workplace

Department for Work and Pensions, November 2018

The government believes that transparency and reporting can support the cultural change required to build a more inclusive society. The voluntary reporting framework has been developed by the government in partnership with leading businesses and third sector organisations to support employers to voluntarily report information on disability, mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Click here to view the full report.

Using the Care Review Tool for mortality reviews in Mental Health Trusts: Guidance for reviewers

Royal College of Psychiatrists, November 2018

Guidance for NHS mental health trusts to ensure ways of improving services are learned from patients’ deaths is unveiled today.  The guidance, drawn up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), focuses on patients with severe mental illness and on four ‘red-flag’ scenarios, including where concerns have been raised by families and carers or where patients have experienced psychosis or had an eating disorder. To ensure any opportunities for learning are not missed, trusts are also encouraged to review a sample of other patients’ deaths, such as those with dementia.

Click here to view the full report.