THE chief executive of one of the UKs most pioneering care organisations has welcomed the announcement that the Lib Dems will set deadlines for the treatment of mental patients.
Dorothy Jarvis Lee, of Yorkshire based ubu, said that the sector was finally moving out of the shadows of the rest of healthcare in the UK to take centre stage where it could make a real and positive contribution to better health for all.
Speaking after Nick Clegg announced that people with depression will receive talking therapies within 18 weeks and young people with psychosis within 14 days from April 2015 she said it demonstrated the Government was finally waking up t the fact that mental healthcare had a greater impact than on those directly involved.
She admitted the targets were not new or particularly ambitious but highlighted that treating young people within 14 days was the same target as that enjoyed by cancer patients.
“For too long the treatment of people with mental health issues has been the ‘Cinderella service’ of the NHS facing stigma and discrimination, like so many patients and underfunded.
“These steps are a clear signal that the treatment of people with mental health issues should be funded more generously and acknowledging that by doing so you can start to reduce the cost of the care needed in the long term.”
Mental health care currently gets 11 per cent of the NGS budget and yet accounts for 28 per cent of the patients. This means many go without treatment or receive inadequate care. As a result their care ends up costing more in the long run as services try to play catch up for failings early on after a diagnoses.
“ubu though our innovative uStep has always maintained that by offering our consumers the opportunity to live independently integrated at the heart of their communities. By doing this we can provide a premium service to those most in need and deliver a payback to society.
“This policy measure is the first step; we would now urge the government to continue and invest further by speeding up the process of closing all high dependency and moving everyone in long term hospitals into the community it is only then that we can see real progress and make a real difference to the lives of those who most need it and society.”