Medacs Healthcare

JAN 19/2015

Mental health focus could make NHS world leader

Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have announced new mental health policies, which would see the issue be an area of focus for healthcare. This move has been welcomed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), although it admitted that some aspects are "ambitious".

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg wants the NHS to aim for zero suicides, while the Labour Party focused on mental health services for children and adolescents in its announcement. 

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said people who have some experiences of mental health problems know the importance of ensuring access to the right treatment is there. 

He said it was encouraging to see that mental health was being recognised by the major parties and being put at the centre of plans for the future. Although Dr Carter called the Liberal Democrats' target of zero suicides ambitious, he said it was "the right thing to do". 

"Anyone touched by suicide will know that the ripples of this personal tragedy can be felt for many decades. There are effective strategies, which can help and which should be more widely available”.

He said that investing in more mental health nurses could help make the NHS a world leader in this area, stating that it would be a "tragedy" if these services slipped backwards because of a lack of finances.

The Labour Party has put focus on developing the services available for children and adolescents, which could help prevent severe issues developing later in life. Dr Carter said this early intervention tactic was key to help people stay fit and well.

Dr Carter said: “Good mental health care should be central to health ambitions for the UK, but this can’t be achieved when mental health services are pared back and are the first casualties of short term cutbacks."

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