“Achieving better access to mental health support requires concerted action both throughout the NHS and across government,” Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sean Duggan said today.

Responding to the Public Accounts Committee’s report Improving Access to Mental Health Services, Sean Duggan said: “Today’s report reinforces the importance of securing greater transparency and accountability for spending on mental health services in England. The Committee calls for clear data to be available about spending on mental health care, for a better payment system to incentivise investment, and for clarity about the workforce required to achieve ‘parity’ between mental and physical health in the NHS. We agree that these are essential building blocks for a rebalanced NHS that treats mental and physical health equally and in tandem. 

“The Committee also calls for action across government to develop a strategy to integrate care and support for people with mental health problems ‘whatever their circumstances and wherever they live’. This must include coordinated action with all government departments to ensure that schools, employment and housing services and the criminal justice system, among others, work together to promote mental health, to intervene early when required and to offer better support to people who need it.

“The Committee’s recommendations build upon the Mental Health Five Year Forward View published earlier this year by NHS England and once again make clear how far we have to go to achieve equality for mental health. But by taking concerted action to address the current shortcomings in data, payment systems and workforce planning we can create firmer foundations and clearer expectations about what the NHS will do to protect our mental health as well as the roles of its partners in other public services.”