Calls For Quicker Help For Mental Health Care Patients

Mental Health Patients Should 'Be Given Support More Quickly'


Mental health patients are having to endure lengthy waits for treatments, according to the leaders of a number of mental health organisations.

It is reported that there is no maximum standard waiting time for patients and experts say there are unacceptable delays for many people, although those who have physical issues start treatment within 18 weeks.

The group of leading mental health care experts believe patients should be treated as soon as possible so that their condition does not worsen.

Rethink Mental Illness, The Centre for Mental Health, The Mental Health Foundation, The Mental Health Network, Mind and the Royal College of Psychiatrists are now demanding help from the government to cut down on the lengthy waiting times - something they believe should be treated as a priority.

In a joint statement, the experts stated: "We should be intervening earlier to prevent mental health problems getting worse, but mental health services are too often left to pick up the pieces too late.

"We call on the next government to mandate the creation and delivery of a clear, transparent programme to introducing maximum waiting times to mental health services. This will help to ensure that people have timely access to essential mental health services such as early intervention in psychosis, talking therapies and crisis care."

Earlier this year, a 25-point action plan for mental health care was revealed by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg which hopes to improve on the priorities in the next 15 months.

The project aims to stop patients from travelling across the country desperate for treatment when they have been asked to wait for months by mental health trusts.

But by 2030, it is predicted that there will be two million more people who will have mental health problems than today.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, believes that with the cuts in funding from the NHS, it will be a huge challenge for the government to ensure that adequate resources will be available in mental health care.

Expert Opinion
The issues raised regarding mental health services in the UK are clearly a major concern and it is vital that the government works with charities and health authorities to quickly consider approaches to reduce lengthy waiting times and provide a better level of support to those who need it the most.

"Our work helping victims of medical negligence and the families of those who have died as a result of such problems mean we understand that huge damage that delays in treatment and diagnosis can often have on so many people.

"These significant delays affecting mental health services are unacceptable and change needs to happen to not only reduce the strain on current levels of support, but also to ensure patients get the help they require."
Lisa Jordan, Partner