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Mental Health Services

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 18 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to assess the adequacy of provision of mental health services for people of each (a) age group, (b) sex and (c) race. (280902)

The responsibility for service provision by the national health service, including mental health care, and for ensuring that this meets the healthcare needs of local communities rests with each primary care trust. To support them in this, we are running through the national mental health development units programmes of work promoting race equality, age equality and gender equality.

The National Service Framework for mental health (NSF) draws to an end in 2009. The Government and key stakeholders are seeking a new, equally powerful approach to help strategic health authorities deliver their regional visions and to build on the achievements of the NSF through the New Horizons programme.

We will publish an equalities impact assessment of the New Horizons consultation document when this is published later this summer. The equality impact assessment is intended to ensure that New Horizons address the inequalities that different groups in society experience, both in accessing services and in levels of mental health, and will inform the national direction of travel from 2010.