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Beyond parity of esteem report

Doctors remain extremely concerned about the state of mental health services and the ability to deliver on commitments to achieve parity. Mental health services remain a long way behind most physical health services in terms of their resourcing, patient ability to access care and overall patient outcomes. This report outlines our findings about the state of mental health in England and recommendations for improvements.

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Key findings from the report

  • Under a third of children with mental health problems in England are able to access the care they need.
  • Those with a severe mental illness in England on average die 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people in the UK aged 20-34 years, and for men in the UK aged under 50.


Summary of recommendations

  • Funding - Double expenditure on mental health care, and spend more on wards, research and in primary care and public health. Child and adolescent mental health services require an investment standard to ensure funding commitments are met.
  • Access - Adequately resource proposed standards and review trusts which place high numbers of patients in beds far from their homes.
  • Workforce - Implement realistic and measurable workforce goals and recruitment campaigns to target sub-specialties, such as old age psychiatry and learning disability psychiatry.
  • Prevention - Establish a cross-government body to write a joint strategy on public mental health. Develop a 'mental health in all policy'; mental health impacts assessments for all new policy proposals.


Aims of the report

Recent NHS England and government commitments recognise the importance of parity of esteem between physical and mental health.

It remains vital that there is continued progress towards achieving parity of resource, access and outcome for people with mental health problems.

This report should be read alongside Measuring progress: Commitments to support and expand the mental health workforce in England, the companion report.