Katie's Diary

Mental health services at a crisis point

26th June 2014

THE chief executive of a leading provider of care for vulnerable adults has called for a smarter approach to funding for mental health services.

Dorothy Jarvis Lee, of ubu, in Yorkshire said that radically new models were needed to halt the decline in care for those with complex needs and mental health issues.

She has called on policy makers to follow ubu’s lead on care models, which places vulnerable people very firmly at the heart of their own development, steering support which enables them to live more independent lives and reduce their reliance on expensive, outdated systems that benefitted no one.

Mrs. Jarvis Lee said such an approach would ultimately save society money but, more importantly benefit patients and vulnerable adults.

“Care Minister, Norman Lamb, visited one of our uStep settings in Leeds recently and saw first hand how it worked in action.  He admitted it provided far reaching benefits for the people we serve and society. 

Her comments followed those of Professor Sue Bailey the outgoing President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists who said that mental health services were a ‘car crash’.

“Continued cuts in funding and lack of investment in research for new care models, that deliver real results, have taken their toll,” admitted Mrs. Jarvis Lee.  “But the slide is not inevitable.  ubu has evolved a model that has proven results delivering improvements for the people we serve and save society money.

“uStep puts the consumer in the driving seat, they decide how they want to live their lives and establish real life goals, that we help them work towards.  By encouraging them to be what they could be, rather than as they are, we have seen people achieve success and greater independence, reduce their support and ultimately cost less.

“They take up their rightful place in society becoming integrated members of their local communities with jobs, homes and relationships.

“The irony is, that while some upfront investment is needed, it isn’t a vast amount of money compared to the overall health budget and the pay back for society is quickly recognized.”

Mental health services at a crisis point

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