Health minister backs RCPsych parity report
On 19 June, the UK’s Minister of State for Care and Support attended a ‘Parity in Action’ event at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The event was organised by College President Prof. Sue Bailey following publication of the Whole-Person Care: From Rhetoric to Reality report in March 2013, and focused on the actions that are needed to achieve some of the report’s key recommendations for marking parity between mental and physical health a reality.
Norman Lamb MP praised the College’s “excellent report” and pledged that he will ensure “parity will sit at the heart of the reformed health and care system” in the UK.
Mr Lamb told attendees: “Achieving parity of esteem between physical and mental health has long been a personal priority of mine, and something which I take every opportunity to promote in government”. He added: “We need to ‘close the gap’ with physical health services – whether that’s a gap in access, in quality, in research, or even in the aspirations we have for people... By placing a lesser value on mental health, we get less value from the NHS as a whole”.
The event, which Prof. Bailey described as “hugely inspiring”, was attended by over 50 representatives from other medical and nursing royal colleges, government, mental health charities, mental health professionals, academics, and social services, as well as services users and carers. The College’s Policy Unit will now help implement actions from the day and, working closely with other stakeholders, continue to drive forward the programme of work on parity.
Royal College explores mental health and employment
On 27 June, the Royal College of Psychiatrists hosted an all-day roundtable event on mental health and employment – part of College President Prof. Sue Bailey’s Recovery and Resilience Campaign. A broad group of stakeholder gathered at the College, including service users, carers, clinicians, academics, employers, government departments, and pri-vate industry.
Chaired by Prof. Dame Carol Black, the Department of Health’s Expert Advisor on improving the welfare of working people, the discussion focused on the National Health Service workforce’s mental health, wellbeing at work, and how people with mental health problems can be helped to gain and stay in employment. The wider implications for pub-lic health were also explored.
The results will inform future College initiatives on mental health and employment. It is hoped that various work streams with objectives will emerge and be assigned within the group, with assistance from any relevant external links.