Mental health services for children and young people is the most challenging area to commission in because there have to be so many different people involved. I am deliberately using the word people and not services or commissioners or even service users and their families because it’s the people in those organisations who are key to making it work. At the moment health commissioners have been tasked with bringing about transformation. Not service redesign, not transition but TRANSFORMATION.
Today sees the latest in a series of major government and NHS announcements on mental health over the last few years. Since the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which wrote ‘parity of esteem’ for mental health (equal treatment with physical health) into law, there has been an increasing focus on how to make that equality a reality in the NHS.
The Prime Minister’s speech on mental health today is nothing short of historic. This is not due to the details of the announcement, important though they are, but because it is the first time a Prime Minister in the UK has made a major speech centred on mental health.