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Like-minded organisations in pursuit of restraint-free services

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health

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The end of July saw the publication of NHS England’s new report ‘Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health’ (pdf). The report details how new funding, rising to £1 billion per year by 2020/21, will be spent and highlights four areas which will see immediate action. These are:

  • £72 million over the next two years designed to better integrate NHS services;
  • £1.8 million initially invested in six pilot test sites, testing new approaches to delivering mental health care;
  • a clear plan for the allocation of £365 million for specialist perinatal mental health services over the next five years to help 30,000 more women per year; and
  • £12 million to support the roll out of a Liaison and Diversion Service. The report also calls for a data revolution, in a bid to enhance transparency on spending and quality of care.

The Care Quality Commission published a ‘statement of intent’, promising to work with any new care models that arise from the Five Year Forward View, stating “managing long-term conditions is now a central task of the NHS and caring for these needs requires a partnership with patients over the long term rather than providing single, unconnected episodes of care. In short, services need to be joined up around the patient. Along with our system partners, we will support services to innovate, collaborate and improve – while ensuring that people continue to receive high quality care.”

From the Restraint Reduction Network’s perspective, the report makes no explicit reference to restraint, despite the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health noting that incidents of restraint have increased and that “mental health staff should be trained to treat people with sensitivity, in the least restrictive way possible, prescribing in line with standards and using restraint only in exceptional circumstances.” While the report itself is welcome, we’ll be pushing to include a focus on encouraging best practice in the use of restraint in any future strategy.