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Speed up efforts to improve poor mental health care in NHS, say MPs

4 March 2015

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A report by the all-party parliamentary group on mental health says there is little evidence of progress towards parity with physical health.

Progress in ending “institutional bias” against mental health patients in the NHSis unacceptably slow and must be accelerated in the next parliament, a cross-party group of MPs and peers has said.

Among its recommendations are a national target for reducing premature deaths among those with mental health problems given that, on average, people who have serious mental health illnesses die 15-20 years earlier than others.

It also calls for a review of how the government ensures the NHS carries out its commitment to improving mental health services, suggesting there is “little evidence to suggest that this aspiration to put mental health at the heart of the public health system is being reflected on the ground”.

Conservative MP James Morris, who chairs the APPG, said: “While there have been some good commitments from government and the NHS to improving mental health services, our inquiry found that progress has been unacceptably slow.

“There has been long-term failure over successive governments to give mental health equal priority with physical health.”