The King's Fund announces new inquiry into mental health in London

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The King's Fund today launches a major 18-month inquiry into London's mental health.

The King's Fund Mental Health Inquiry will look into the state of mental health services in London and examine how far they meet the capital's needs. It will ask if enough is being done both to promote good mental health and to provide the right support to people with mental illnesses.

The inquiry starts work five years after The King's Fund last carried out a major survey of mental health care in London. London's Mental Health, published in 1997, warned that services in the capital were struggling to cope with high levels of demand. Many hospital wards reported bed occupancy levels above one hundred per cent. It warned that many people were receiving sub-standard care because of shortages throughout the system.

The King's Fund fellow in mental health Angela Greatley will lead the inquiry. She said today: 'Five years ago, London's mental health services were in desperate need of reform and of extra resources. A lot has happened since. Our inquiry will find out what has changed and whether it has brought about the necessary improvements.

'Our inquiry will look not only at the way people with mental health problems are treated but also at what can be done to make London a mentally healthy city. We will involve service users, carers and people from all sections of the community. We will look not just at health and social services but the role of the police, of businesses, and of schools in promoting mental health.'

Notes to editors

The King's Fund Mental Health Inquiry will include studies examining:

  • The funding of mental health care in London;
  • The role of communities in promoting better mental health;
  • The support provided to people with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance misuse;
  • The challenges facing the mental health workforce for London – in particular how to recruit and retain people, including those who have used mental health services;
  • The support given to people with severe illnesses in re-establishing an ordinary life.

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