Right, NHS England have set up a taskforce on mental health â€“ chaired by Paul FARMER, the Chief Executive of Mind and vice-chaired by Jacqui DYER who is an expert in mental health by experience, it seeks to set out a five-year forward-looking strategy on mental health. Â There was a press release to accompany the announcement of this work and you can read more about it on the NHS England website, including its terms of reference.
Most importantly, we can all contribute to its work with our ideas, our concerns and our views by emailing them at â€“
I know that I intend to ensure they are aware of my view that you cannot understand our mental health system without understanding how it causes people in distress into excessive contact with the criminal justice system and how it isnâ€™t sufficiently â€˜rightsâ€™ based. Iâ€™m well aware that when commissions and taskforces are set-up, they donâ€™t always include every organisation that you would think are obvious to its work but they do ensure such organisations become involved in contributing a view. Â So I note that no criminal justice agency or policing organisation like the National Police Chiefs Council or the College of Policing are a formal part of this work but I do intend to ensure that a policing voice is heard loud and clear by members of the taskforce and I look forward to reading the strategy when itâ€™s published in due course.
A final point, this work has obvious overlaps to the Royal College of Psychiatrists Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care, on which I am a commissioner. Â The overlaps are more than subject matter, but Paul FARMER and Jacqui DYER are commissioners for CAAPC in addition to charing and vice-chairing this NHS England work. Â Iâ€™m still trying to deconstruct those overlaps and duplications in my head, but Iâ€™m sure it will become clear!
Make your voice heard!