Memorandum by MIND The Relationship between
Health and Social Services
SUMMARY OF MAIN POINTS OF EVIDENCE (HSS53)
1. Consideration of structural change tackles
only a small piece of the jigsaw which needs to be put together
to provide responsive services. Reorganisation is not a panacea
for inadequate resources or inappropriate service patterns.
2. The fundamental aim of any structure
should be to deliver a package of services which address the range
of needs experienced and expressed by people with mental distress
including health, social care, employment, housing, leisure facilities
and an adequate income.
3. Mind rejects major structural change
such as the creation of a new Mental Health and Social Care Authority
or single authority responsibility. There is a grave danger that
these models could lead to a health or medically dominated approach
to service provision and result in users' wider social needs being
ignored. It could also threaten the current welcome diversity
4. Mind favours arrangements which allow
for joint commissioning and the development of local joint plans
for mental health whilst retaining the separate accountability
of local and health authorities.
5. Effective user involvement through representation,
stakeholder consultation, surveys and so on is essential whatever
structure is adopted. The focus should be on working in an active
partnership with service users and seeking to engage them with
services which are acceptable and helpful to them.
6. Mind favours the development of national
standards for mental health care developed in consultation with
users and promulgated by the Department of Health.
7. Any change needs to focus on delivering
services which are welcoming to and meet the needs of people from
black and ethnic minorities and women.
8. Mind is concerned that there should be
no extension of charging policies to mental health services which
are currently free at the point of use.