Parity of esteem: a briefing note

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11 November 2013

Parity of esteem is the principle by which mental health must be given equal priority to physical health. It was enshrined in law by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The government requires NHS England (the body which commissions primary care along with other key services) to work for parity of esteem to mental and physical health through the NHS Mandate. There are however many areas where parity of esteem has not yet been realised.

This briefing note gives an overview of the situation as it stands, the impact of poor mental health on physical health, the impact of poor physical health on mental health, the situation in urgent care and the gap between health and care resources as well as outlining what parity would look like with some key recommendations.

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