Day care services ripe for scrapping

Most mental health day care and many in-patient services are
ineffective and should be decommissioned and replaced with
treatments that work, according to a national charity.

Money spent on mental health treatments with no evidence base for
success should be diverted to services such as cognitive
behavioural therapy, supported employment and therapeutic
communities, the Mental Health Foundation argues in an election
briefing released last week.

The report also calls for child and adolescent mental health
services to be relocated to schools, and secondary school pupils to
be educated on “psychological first aid”.

The foundation’s chief executive Andrew McCulloch said the plan was
radical but realistic as it would not require any more money than
is currently being spent.

McCulloch described unfocused day care as “a complete waste of
money” saying it needed to be more focused to help people take up
meaningful activity and employment.

Meanwhile, severe mental illness charity Rethink has called on the
government to provide guidance on referral criteria to make
services more accessible to the 50,000 people with mental health
problems whose needs it believes are being ignored.

In a report launched this week, the charity urges primary care
trusts to train practice nurses on severe mental illness and make
GP health checks for the mentally ill a priority.

It says services should be commissioned that work at a moderate
pace and do not put too much pressure on people to move


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