Some people with mental health issues are receiving care that is “frankly unacceptable”, the Deputy Prime Minister has said.

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Nick Clegg said that waiting times are too long, some patients are having to be treated hundreds of miles from home and children are being cared for in adult wards.

“Damaging” face-down restraint is still being used and the NHS is still not doing enough to address the physical health problems of those with mental health difficulties, he said.

Mr Clegg said the health service has a “mountain to climb” but mental health should be given the focus that it deserves.

Launching the Government’s new Mental Health Action Plan, which sets out 25 areas where care will be improved in the health service, Mr Clegg said: “Some people with mental health problems are still being treated in ways that are frankly unacceptable.

“Waiting times for common mental health services are still too long, especially in some areas of the country.

“There have been stories of people of all ages being transferred, sometimes hundreds of miles, to access a bed.

“And some children with severe mental health problems are still being cared for on adult wards.

“Face-down restraint is still being used - despite clear evidence of how damaging it can be.

“And we are still not doing enough to address the often serious physical health problems of those with mental health difficulties.

“We recognise that we have got a mountain to climb... It’s going to take a huge effort to turn that around and give mental health the focus it deserves.”

Speaking at a conference with leading mental health figures in central London, he added: “All too often attitudes to mental health are outdated; stuck in the dark ages; full of stigma and stereotypes.

“It’s time for us to bring mental health out of the shadows and to give people with mental health conditions the support they need and deserve.”

The action plan sets out a series of objectives to increase access to mental health, to promote the integration of physical and mental health care and to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems.

It states that mental health patients must have better choice over where they go for care.

There will also be “clear” waiting time limits for patients in need of treatment, such as waiting time limits for those with physical problems.

The document, compiled by the Department of Health, also pledges to improve support for new mothers to minimise the risk of post-natal depression.

It also calls for improvements on the transition that young people face when leaving children’s facilities and entering adult ones.

Mr Clegg’s comments come as a new mental illness awareness campaign was launched. Time to Talk encourages people to talk openly about mental illness and get support.

The campaign is led by the Time to Change programme, run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, with the aim of ending the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.

7 comments

  • Why doesn't this man just be quiet. He has a very limited time left in the UK politics. No doubt he will rush back to some well paid job with his first love the EU. He has been part and parcel of a government whose continual cut backs of NHS funding has caused the problem with the care of those with mental health problems. His government is all about keeping the patient at home and cared for by people who are totally ill equipped for the job. There is no substitute for professional care. There always seems to be plenty of taxpayer money for giving to foreign countries but when it comes to caring for their own Cameron,Clegg and cronies just take away funds.

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    stormy

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • If Clegg really cared he would instruct the Health Minister,Norman Lamb,to clear up the shambles their government is making of the local mental health trust,which is clearly putting patients and staff at unnecessary risk.If Lamb cannot even get it right in his own backyard,how can he or Clegg be trusted nationally?

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • There is the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk & Suffolk. You can find out more at http:norfolksuffolkmentalhealthcrisis.org.uk

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    NorfolkSuffolk MentalHealthCrisis

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • If you havn't got a really good caring dr to chase up the mental health teams you don't stand a chance of getting help, all because lack of resources . I was lucky my dr was good and am getting the help I need all be it by phone but information sent to me and caring mental health accessor at the end of the line.. Today's pressures are immense and we should be putting staff there to help the people.

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    stebbie

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • The fact that mental health services are so appalling in Norman Lambs own area surely says everything we need to know about this governments views on mental health care.. Our local mental health services are falling to pieces, the trust is making cuts at the same time as using record levels of temporary staff. The trusts board has been given a vote of no confidence by it's own staff, yet despite being a foundation trust, the votes of it's own members, means nothing to them.. The trust has been managed into disaster, but those responsible, the trusts board, refuses to accept responsibility instead suggesting it is staff who are lying when concerns are raised & proven..

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    el84

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Visit http:norfolksuffolkmentalhealthcrisis.org.uk to join the campaign to stop the crisis at Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

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    NorfolkSuffolk MentalHealthCrisis

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Yet again the pathetic Nick Clegg is talking loud but saying nothing. The issue at stake is lack of resource; there simply aren't enough staff to do the work and the lack of acute psychiatric beds is such that often people detained under the mental health act have to be taken to private facilities out of county. Mr Clegg should grow a pair and admit that the problems are not caused by the staff within the surface, its the excessive and damaging cuts imposed by the government he is part of that lead to current difficulties.

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Monday, January 20, 2014

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