Skip to main content

Mental Health Services

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the Government will fulfil those commitments made in the National Service Framework for mental health that have not yet been fully implemented. (305914)

The Mental Health National Service Framework reached the end of its 10-year lifespan in September 2009. It provided a blueprint for a genuine transformation in the delivery of services, and many of its objectives have been carried forward into New Horizons.

The cross-Government framework “New Horizons: A shared vision for mental health” was published on 7 December 2009 and is designed as a platform for future action across Government. It has been co-produced with a number of key external stakeholders, and sets out the expectation that services to treat and care for people with mental health problems will be accessible to everyone who needs them. A copy of the publication has already been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the Choose and Book system does not include mental health services; and in what ways the New Horizons initiative will address this issue. (305915)

Mental health services are not excluded from Choose and Book. In November 2009, there were around 380 mental health services available in the Directory of Services, 85 per cent. of which were for adults. From September to November 2009, 10,751 mental health appointments were booked using Choose and Book. However, Choose and Book may not always be the most appropriate way in which appointments for mental health services can be booked; appropriate help should be offered to vulnerable patients who may be unable or unwilling to take the necessary steps to make a booking.

“New Horizons: A shared vision for mental health”, published on 7 December 2009, is a significant cross-Government programme of action with the twin aims of improving the mental health and well-being of the population and improving the quality and accessibility of services for people with poor mental health. It is based on four key guiding values one of which is “being in control of our lives” and includes a commitment to continue to explore and cost further options for extending choice to mental health service users. A copy of the publication has already been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what way the New Horizons initiative will clarify entitlements to support and treatment for those with mental health problems. (305916)

The consultation document on New Horizons, published in July this year, outlined the features of high-quality mental health care, which support the recovery of everyone who experiences mental ill health, including timely access to high-quality services. “New Horizons: A shared vision for mental health” published on 7 December 2009, a copy of which has already been placed in the Library, stresses the need to improve access to mental health services for socially excluded groups. It includes commitments to work with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on developing further quality standards in mental health, and to exploring options that would help increase personalisation and choice for mental health service users.

New Horizons has been developed in collaboration with strategic health authorities and is consistent with their regional visions for mental health.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how his Department is involving service users in designing Payment by Results for mental health. (305917)

Service users have been involved in developing Payment by Results (PbR) for mental health at an early stage. A study by the University of Huddersfield, “Exploring the Impact of a Clinical Decision Support Tool from the Perspective of Service Users & Carers” (available at, used focus groups to identify what service users thought of an early iteration of the mental health currency work. The study highlighted service users’ desire to be involved in the care planning process that is linked to mental health PbR. We therefore expect, as mental health PbR is implemented, that service users will be very involved in the identification and agreement of local care packages and pathways to meet their own needs as part of care planning. User representatives will also be consulted on key aspects of the further development of the approach to PbR for mental health.