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Deputy prime minister launches mental health taskforce


Nick Clegg has launched a new mental health taskforce in a bid to improve services across the country.

The deputy prime minister will also act as the chair of the taskforce, which will include other government ministers and members of the cabinet.

The high powered list includes health secretary Jeremy Hunt, local government secretary Eric Pickles, home secretary Theresa May, education secretary Nicky Morgan, business secretary Vince Cable, justice secretary Chris Grayling, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, as well as health, defence and education ministers.

The move is the latest in a series of efforts by Mr Clegg to make mental health as much of a priority as physical health.

NIck Clegg

NIck Clegg

Last month he announced that £120m is to be invested in a number of mental health schemes, including one that will see NHS waiting times for mental health patients standardised by April next year.

Another £400m has been spent on improving and expanding talking therapies across the UK as part of the coalition government’s mental health strategy.

Mr Clegg said mental health “affects every aspect of our lives”, and a quarter of Britons will face a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

The problem costs the UK more than £100bn, which shows it is “too big an issue for the NHS to deal with alone”, he added.

Mr Clegg called on ministers to join their efforts in a bid to improve the lives of millions of people in the UK who are affected by the problem.



Readers' comments (2)

  • Now they introduce a 'task force.'Hilarious if it wasn't such a serious issue.I have recently met Mental Health nurses who have witnessed their services have been cut to the bone.Disillusioned and unable to take any more many of these caring professionals are leaving nursing in large numbers.
    The 'powers that be' have ignored all warnings for years and now this is their response to an avalanche of a crisis!
    This is too little, far too late for those patients whose conditions became worse because of long waiting times for treatment.Think we need a lot more-quickly-to encourage school leavers into Mental Health Nursing as a career.

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  • Another 'task force' to improve standards will only result in even more accountability being sent down the line to pressurise already stretched frontline staff to see more people even quicker.
    In order to meet these 'must do' targets will result in a poorer quality service.

    The money spent to set this up and service it could be better spent being given to Mental Health services to employ more staff to see more people!!
    Its not rocket science - we know what the problem is - we know what needs to be done - but instead we have increasing caseloads, pressure to make first contact then not enough staff to enable effective therapy to be delivered and Trusts demanding we do more with less resources.

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