Today, we have learned that the long-awaited Mental Health Plan will no longer be published and has instead been incorporated into a wider Major Conditions Strategy. At a time when we know many people’s mental health is worsening and the demand in services continues to rise, a dedicated cross-government strategy focusing on mental health is exactly what was needed.
It’s important to recognise that the initial Plan had been consulted upon with thousands of people with lived experience and providers delivering services engaged to inform its contents. We must not lose the valuable contributions that were made and ensure these are utilised to produce the new strategy as well as the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.
Whilst we are disappointed that the Mental Health Plan will not be a standalone strategy, we welcome the intention to produce a strategy that takes an integrated, whole-person approach. It’s important to consider the impact of mental health on physical health conditions and vice versa, and also recognise the role of the VCSE and social care sectors and their workforce in delivering essential services alongside the NHS.
We look forward to working closely with the Government, across the departments, in what we hope will be a well-informed cross-government strategy that takes into account the previous contributions made to the Mental Health Plan.
Read the full announcement from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, here.