Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View
MHPF welcomes NHS England’s Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View, which was published on Friday 31 March. The document has one chapter dedicated to mental health and highlights the recent achievements as well as the improvements that need to be made over the next two years. The report identified significant areas for development in the provision of mental health care over the next 2 years including increased access to psychological therapies, better mental health care for new and expectant mothers, improved care for children and young people including care closer to home, as well as specialist care in A&E, better physical health for people with mental health conditions, increased support for veterans, and investment in technology.
However, we are concerned by the lack of engagement with voluntary and community sector organisations over the implementation of these plans. We would urge NHS England to address the need for improved interface with the wider mental health VCSE sector when addressing how changes will be implemented, especially in relation to the need for all local providers to be engaged in supporting system development and improving care of people throughout the pathway. VCSE organisations also deliver a significant amount of IAPT services and therefore need to be included in any developments.
We fully agree that health services are vital to many people’s recovery but the role of social care is often underplayed when considering good mental health, including prevention, and we are keen this is considered and not lost.