Farmer set to let go of alliance reins

New Mind chief executive Paul Farmer is set to step down as chair of the Mental Health Alliance, having led the lobbying coalition since it was formed in 1999.

Farmer, who has co-ordinated the alliance’s efforts to improve mental health legislation, said he was likely to resign because of his new work commitments.

Community Care understands that three potential successors have emerged to lead the alliance through a crucial phase, as the government unveils its planned amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983.

They are Mike Shooter, former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Andy Bell, director of communications at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, and Rowena Daw, former head of policy and development at Mind.

However, all three could be appointed as joint chairs. An alliance source said a new chair might bring a change of style but the policy direction would remain the same.

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