Data highlights performance of specialist mental health services
On 29th November, the 'Mental Health Bulletin' was published. This was the fifth annual report on specialist mental health services for adults in UK.
The report had some very interesting findings.
Key findings from the report that can be found here include:
- The number of people using services in 2010/11 rose to 1,287,730
- Approximately 1 in 36 people accessing these services
- The proportion of people using NHS services who spent time in hospital during the year continued on a downward trend (8.1 per cent in 2010/11)
- The PCTs with the highest rates of access (above 1 in 20 people) were Brighton and Hove City PCT, Walsall Teaching PCT, Barnsley PCT, Bury PCT and Northumberland Care Trust. (These statistics could indicate higher need, but also better access)
The national charity The Mental Health Foundation, has welcomed this report with Chief Executive, Dr Andrew McCulloch, saying “We must understand better why there are variations in access to specialist mental health care. Wherever they live, it is essential that people have early and effective interventions, such as talking therapies. We know delays in providing care can significantly worsen outcomes”.
The foundation comments 'At a time of significant structural upheaval in the NHS, it is essential that current and future mental health commissioners and providers recognise the numbers and needs of people requiring specialist mental health care.'
One part of the report that caused some concern, were the statistics indicating the disproportionate use of detention of Black Britons. Dr Andrew McCulloch adds “It is particularly worrying to see the continuing disproportionate use of the Mental Health Act’s powers of detention and compulsory treatment – whether in hospital or in the community – among Black British people. We must do more to provide better mental health promotion and early access to care to this group.”
These figures highlight areas of success and areas of failure within the current system, however while such public reports exist so too does the pressure on the NHS to improve and be transparent.
We too welcome the report and hope that such statistics are used by the powers that be to see the people behind these numbers.