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Integrate mental health to save money

Integrate mental health to save money

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Mental health services must be included in NHS and social care integration plans to provide the best value for money, an inquiry has recommended. 

The Future of Mental Health Services inquiry, established last year, concluded that NHS mental health services are “straining at the seams”. 

However, the services could be under even greater pressure in the coming years, due to a growing and ageing population, as well as persistently high mental health disorder rates in both adults and children. 

According to Dinesh Bhugra, co-chair of the inquiry advisory panel and professor of mental health and diversity at the King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, these factors will “undoubtedly impact on future mental health services”. 

Increased integration is needed to make the best use of resources, as well as a “new approach to training health and social care staff, and a change in culture and attitudes”. 

Buhgra said: “Failure to provide good, integrated mental health care is not a failure of understanding what needs to be done, it is a failure of actually implementing good practice in organisational strategies and the day to day business of providing people with the care and treatment that they want. We need to start today to rectify that.

“We cannot expect mental health services simply to muddle along with no clear sense of what is required, and sleepwalk into the future. If we do so, we will be failing all those who in the future need mental health care and their families, as well as the staff who work in mental health services.”

The full report is available to view on the Mental Health Foundation website

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