Failings in mental health care services a worry, says The King's Fund

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Responding to the Healthcare Commission's survey of mental health service users, The King's Fund chief executive Niall Dickson said:

'This report demonstrates that many people with mental health problems are receiving a good service, which is encouraging.

'It's not all good news though. We have strong concerns that the survey highlights known failings in the service that could hinder patients' recovery. It is clear that too many have problems accessing services such as counselling and psychotherapy. We also need to do much more to help people with mental health problems enter the workforce where they can make a valuable contribution.

'Much of this should be relatively easy to resolve without extra resources. Patients need to be told their rights; about the possible side-effects of medicines; and they should be consulted over their care and given a written copy of their care plan.

'Finally, this report only covers adults of working age living in the community. For too long now children and older people have lacked the comprehensive services they need and we know of serious deficiencies in acute psychiatric wards. So there is a lot more still to do.'

Notes to editors

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact the King's Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.
  2. The King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through funding. We are a major resource to people working in health, offering leadership development programmes; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.