Tariff for mental health services should be introduced to save money

A national tariff for mental health services should be introduced to allow primary care practices to save money by providing services more cheaply than hospitals, according to a report launched yesterday.

The study by the Mental Health Foundation and drugs company coalition Pharmaceutical Schizophrenia Initiative says if GPs can provide services at a lower cost than the national agreed tariff charged by hospitals, the savings could be reinvested to provide more services.

It says GPs should be enabled to commission joint health and social care packages including day care and employment support, adding enhanced mental health training was needed for all primary care staff.

Speaking ahead of the launch, foundation chief executive Andrew McCulloch said mental health “was not always considered within the primary care agenda”.

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