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New taskforce will shape the future of mental health services

31 March 2015

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NHS England has launched a new Mental Health Taskforce that brings together health and care leaders and experts in the field, including people using services, to lead a programme of work to create a mental health Five Year Forward View for the NHS in England.

Formed in March 2015, its principal task is to develop a new five-year national strategy for mental health covering services for all ages that will be published in autumn 2015. This will be the first time there has been an NHS England-led strategic approach to designing mental health services for all ages spanning the health and care system.

In order to develop the strategy, the taskforce will explore the variation in access to and quality of mental health services across England; look at outcomes for people who are and aren’t able to access services and also consider ways to tackle the prevention of mental health problems.

The taskforce is chaired by Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind. It includes members from the partner arm’s length bodies who hold critical responsibilities related to the planning and delivery of care. It also includes representatives from the third sector, think tanks and professional bodies. Members of the taskforce hold responsibility to ensure that there is cross-system commitment and alignment in developing a national strategy and that continued partnership, working effectively and meaningfully, delivers the strategy.