Lord Victor Adebowale responds to 'Closing the Gap: Priorities for essential change in mental health'

News item posted: 19 June 2017

In response to 'Closing the Gap: Priorities for essential change in mental health', Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, Chief Executive of Turning Point and Chair of the NHS England Parity of Esteem Programme Board said;

"'Closing the Gap' brings a much needed re-focus to the mental health priorities as outlined in the national strategy, 'No Health without Mental Health'. The action plan is another step towards addressing the challenges still abundant within the health service for anyone with a mental health issue.

The lack of parity of esteem that continues to exist for those with mental health issues, compared to people with physical health conditions, is simply unacceptable. Crisis services, especially, need reform to ensure people can access and receive the care they need in a timely and safe way - something not currently guaranteed.

Significant challenges exist if we are going to achieve parity including:

- The discrimination people with mental health issues face at every level of the system, particularly those from BME communities

- The undermining impact of funding cuts on equality of provision

- Challenges around data collection and use which informs decision making, and

- Measurement by system leaders to prove that change is happening and improving people's lives.

Words must now urgently translate into tangible actions on the ground if this inequity is to be resolved."