As Public Health and Innovation Minister Nicola responded to a Westminster Hall debate on Psychosis and early intervention, making clear that this is a top priority for the Government. The debate was tabled in order to discuss new national guidelines on the early treatment of psychosis and potential variations in delivery across the country.
Nicola was clear that while we have seen encouraging progress in this policy area since 2010 and the Government have pledged parity of esteem between physical and mental health, there is some way to go to ensure services meet the standards patients deserve.
Nicola responded to the questions raised by Norman Lamb MP, who had tabled the debate, regarding different progression rates of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in negotiating their funding for psychosis now that new guidelines on the Early Intervention Pathway (EIP) have come in to force.
The debate was well attended by MPs from across the House and Nicola assured them that the Department of Health is working with local commissioners to improve service provision and data quality as well as ensuring services are extended to cover all age ranges. There will be a systemic review of implementation of the EIP taken forward by independent experts at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, it is due to report back in April 2017. Crucially, any earlier information that becomes available as this review is underway will be reported back to Ministers in order to make progress as quickly as possible.
For a transcript of the debate, see here.
Nicola says: Early intervention in psychosis is crucial, as will all mental health issues. We are now in the process of creating a service that we can be proud of—one in which, no matter where someone lives, they will be able to access the services they need when they need them, and just as importantly, one that people feel safe and confident using.