LSE report into mental health provision in the NHS

Shocking Waste Of £10bn In NHS Could Be Saved With Mental Health Treatments Like CBT

by Dr Emma Gray - 20th June, 2012

A critical report from the London School of Economics and Political Science asserts that the NHS is letting down the 6 million adults and hundreds of thousands of children in the UK who suffer with treatable and common mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Such is the seriousness of the situation that Professor Lord Layard of the London School for Economic performance has requested a cabinet minister be created for mental health issues.
Paul Burstow, the Care services minister said; “Mental illness costs £105bn per year and I have always been clear that it should be treated as seriously as physical health problems.
“We will shortly publish our plans to make sure the NHS, councils, voluntary organisations and others can play their part in improving the nation’s mental health.”
Perhaps most shocking of all is that three quarters of mental health sufferers have no access to the treatments they so desperately need and which would benefit their lives greatly and cut billions of pounds spent.
The Mental Health Policy Group within the LSE includes Psychologists, Doctors, Economists and NHS managers, believes that this inadequate treatment is the most “glaring case of health inequality” in Britain’s health service today.
The report cites NHS trusts failure to buy in evidence based treatments like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or to commission them from private health care providers as a failure in spite of explicit recommendations from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to do so.
Spending on mental health conditions is seen as an extremely cost effective option by the government who recognises that existing physical complaints can be made worst, without the appropriate use of treatments such as CBT, and can also directly lead to problems such as IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome) and severe migraines.
The cost to the government and NHS of these additional ailments is at least £10bn a year, a staggering amount of money that could be spent more effectively on Psychological therapies they claim.
The authors of the report state that funds intended for key mental health services are being used on other non related conditions, perhaps in a bid to reduce the target orientated and penalty laden NHS waiting lists, and they criticise the trusts who are cutting mental health services further to balance their own accounts.


Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleague once described me as natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.


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