Department of Health

This page shows items from the Department of Health’s social care news feed.

Speech: World Alzheimer’s Day: could we create a world without dementia?

21 September 2017, 9:52 am

Could we create a world without dementia in the near future?

This is the question that for years no one has dared to ask. We assumed – wrongly – that dementia was just part of the ageing process instead of the disease of the brain it actually is. But 4 years ago that changed. The UK hosted the first ever G8 dementia summit, which set the explicit ambition to find a cure or disease-modifying therapy for dementia by 2025.

Since then, governments have formally united in the fight against dementia, and adopted the first Global Action Plan on Dementia, during the World Health Assembly in May 2017.

In the UK we have done much to improve diagnosis rates, from one of the lowest to one of the highest in Europe. This matters because an early diagnosis can support patients to make lifestyle changes that slow the progress of the disease – and also help families make adjustments to make their dementia journey easier.

Public attitudes – and specifically the stigma around dementia – are also changing. We now have over 2 million Dementia Friends, and the first dementia-friendly communities – both of them signalling a sea-change in the compassion with which we approach the disease.

And the establishment of the UK Dementia Research Institute earlier this year will provide a new focal point for research across care, prevention and technology as well as biomedical science.

We can’t do this alone. Our partnership with Japan, who pioneered Dementia Friends and like us faces many challenges with an ageing population, shows how valuable cross-border collaboration is when it comes to answering one of the biggest global health challenges of our times. We have been able to ensure a continued focus on dementia throughout Japan’s presidency of the G7, with learning exchanges between both nations, a successful global symposium on Building A Dementia Friendly World, and the establishment of Global Dementia Friends Ambassadors Carey Mulligan and Yuichiro Miura.

Message from Japan’s Dementia Supporters Ambassador, Mr Yuichiro Miura:

Yuichiro Miura.

But partnership needs to be not just between governments but with civil society and voluntary organisations as well. So we strongly support the brilliant work done by the Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK and other dementia-focused charities in the UK. And during the 2014 World Health Assembly, I was pleased to launch the Global Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Alliance, encouraging international NGOs to join global action against this condition.

In the end, though, our approach to dementia is quite simply a litmus test of how compassionate a society we want to be. Living with dementia can be horrific for the individual and their family – but it doesn’t have to be. Social interaction – the love and support of family and friends – is one of the best possible ways to slow progression. We may not yet be able to cure the disease but we can all play a part in tackling the symptoms.

News story: Reducing delays for people moving from hospital to social care

5 July 2017, 9:00 am

In a written ministerial statement Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced (on 3 July 2017) measures to support the NHS and local government in reducing delays for people being discharged from hospital to local social care services.

The measures include:

  • local authorities agreeing with local NHS organisations on the contribution they will make to reducing the number of delayed transfers of care in their local areas
  • a performance dashboard showing how health and social care partners in every local authority area in England are performing against a number of metrics, including: delayed transfers of care, emergency admissions, length of stay in hospital, the number of people still at home 90 days after being discharged from hospital
  • the Integration and Better Care Fund Planning Requirements 2017 to 2019, which set out how the Better Care Fund Planning process will operate

Find out more about the performance dashboard and the Integration and Better Care Fund planning requirements.

The Health Secretary said:

This government is clear that no-one should stay in a hospital bed longer than necessary: it removes people’s dignity; reduces their quality of life; leads to poorer health and care outcomes for people; and is more expensive for the taxpayer.

In this year’s mandate to NHS England, I set a clear expectation that delayed transfers of care (DToCs) should equate to no more than 3.5% of all hospital beds by September.

Alongside this, the spring 2017 Budget announced an additional £2 billion to councils in England over the next three years to spend on adult social care services.

This funding for local adult social care services will help:

  • meet adult social care needs
  • reduce pressures on the NHS, by supporting more people to be discharged from hospital when they are ready
  • support the local social care provider market

The Department of Health has also asked the Care Quality Commission to commission 12 reviews of local areas to consider how well they are working at the health and social care boundary. A further 8 reviews will be commissioned based on the performance dashboard and informed by local authority returns due in July 2017. These reviews will commence immediately with the majority complete by the end of November 2017.

Press release: PM: mental health training for teachers will "make a real difference to children’s lives"

27 June 2017, 9:25 am

The government’s pledge to transform mental health services for young people has taken an important step forward with teachers and staff across the country starting training to identify and respond to early signs of mental health problems among pupils.

Delivered by the social enterprise organisation Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, the training was originally announced by the Prime Minister in January as part of a series of measures to address the “hidden injustice” of poor mental health across society.

Around one in 10 children are believed to have a diagnosable mental health disorder, with half of all mental health conditions begin before the age of 14, making it vital that children with early symptoms receive the support they need.

However, research by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) found that 98% of teachers had come into contact with pupils who were experiencing mental health issues, but only 46% reported receiving training on children’s mental health.

The programme, backed in the first year by £200,000 in government funding, and delivered by the social enterprise Mental Health First Aid, will start with 1,000 staff and extend in years 2 and 3 to cover every secondary school in England. They will receive practical advice on how to deal with issues such as depression and anxiety, suicide and psychosis, self-harm, and eating disorders.

Participants in the training programme will be invited to become a Youth Mental Health First Aid Champion, and will help to share their knowledge and understanding of mental health across the school and wider community.

It is hoped that this will mean more young people will get fast and appropriate support for emerging mental health problems, and that all children will receive the highest quality pastoral care through their adolescence.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

When I stood on the steps of Downing Street on my first day as Prime Minister, I said that the disparity in mental health services was one of the burning injustices our country faces.

Since then we have announced real progress in tackling this unfairness, and this training will make a real difference to children’s lives by ensuring they have access to sensitive and swift support.

Tackling poor mental health is a huge challenge, and we will keep our promises and meet that challenge with the comprehensive cross-society response that is required.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said:

Teachers provide outstanding pastoral care and support for their pupils, but many have said that they would appreciate more formal training on how to understand and respond to acute mental distress.

We know that identifying symptoms of mental illness in their early stages can help put young people on the road to recovery. This initiative will mean more children can get the fast and sensitive support they need to stay well, and help build a society with far better understanding of mental ill health.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

Growing up in today’s world is not always easy and for some young people the problems can be acute. That’s why we are stepping up our support for children with mental illness to help them become resilient, confident adults who can go as far as their talents will take them.

This new training will give teachers more confidence in tackling mental health issues and build on the fantastic support we know they already give their pupils. It’s great that so many schools are taking part and I’d encourage others to follow their lead.

Caroline Hounsell, MHFA England Director and lead of the Youth MHFA in Schools programme, commented, saying:

Mental ill health in young people is a growing health concern, with half of all lifetime cases of mental health issues starting by the age of 14. It’s therefore vital that we put the right measures in place to ensure that young people get the help they need and at the earliest possible stage.

We are really pleased to be involved in this government-backed programme and supporting our instructors to deliver this important schools-focused training.

John McKee, Headteacher, Patcham High School, Brighton, commented:

We are delighted to be one of the first schools in the country to be involved in the Youth MHFA in Schools programme.

Around one in 10 children have a diagnosable mental health issue – roughly three children in every classroom – so upskilling frontline school staff to be able to support these children is crucially important.

Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said:

Children and young people today are facing a huge range of pressures, from exam stress to online bullying, which inevitably take a toll on their mental health. Many of these pressures become particularly intense during secondary school so it is important and welcome that mental health first aid training will be available for secondary schools.

This training is a move in the right direction and will help give staff the opportunity to gain confidence and understand mental health better. We hope it will encourage more leadership teams to put student wellbeing at the heart of their school which will benefit both students and schools alike.

Young people need to learn about wellbeing and resilience from a young age, so when they leave school they are equipped to deal with problems and have the confidence to seek help. It is vital that this work is part of a whole-school approach to wellbeing, and that mental health is made a priority across the education system.

News story: Secondary school staff get mental health ‘first aid’ training

27 June 2017, 8:42 am

From June 2017, teachers in secondary schools around the country will take part in a new training programme to help them identify and respond to early signs of mental health issues in children.

The programme, backed in the first year by £200,000 in government funding, and delivered by the social enterprise Mental Health First Aid, will start with 1,000 staff and extend in years 2 and 3 to cover every secondary school in England. They will receive practical advice on how to deal with issues such as depression and anxiety, suicide and psychosis, self-harm, and eating disorders.

They will also be invited to become ‘first aid champions’, sharing their knowledge and experiences across schools and communities to raise awareness and break down stigma and discrimination.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

Teachers already provide outstanding pastoral care and support for their pupils, but many have said that they would appreciate more training on how to understand and respond to mental health issues.

We know that identifying symptoms of mental illness early can help young people on the road to recovery. This training will mean more children receive the timely and sensitive support they need to stay well.

One in 10 school-aged children will have a mental health condition at any time, with half of all mental health conditions beginning before the age of 14, making early intervention and support vital.

The introduction of Mental Health First Aid training supports the government’s pledge in the Queen’s Speech to improve mental health services and protect those living with mental health problems from unfair treatment and discrimination.

Earlier this year, the prime minister announced that every secondary school in the country would be offered the training, as part of a comprehensive set of messages to transform mental health support for children and young people.

News story: VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance members announced

16 June 2017, 8:26 am

Updated: This page has been updated to reflect the fact that the National Council for Palliative Care has since changed its name to End of Life Care Consortium.

On 20 April 2017 the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England announced the 21 members of the new voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

They are:

  • Age UK
  • Carers Partnership
  • Citizen’s Advice
  • Clinks, Nacro
  • Complex Needs Consortium
  • End of Life Care Consortium
  • FaithAction
  • Friends, Families and Travellers
  • Homeless Link
  • Maternity Action
  • Men’s Health Forum
  • Mental Health Consortium
  • National Voices
  • National Association for Voluntary and Community Action
  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Race Equality Foundation
  • The National LGB&T Partnership
  • The Valuing People Alliance
  • UK Health Forum
  • Young People’s Health Partnership
  • Win-Win Alliance

The members were selected from over 180 organisations that applied to join.

The alliance aims to make it easier for the voluntary and statutory sectors to work together to:

  • improve health and care systems
  • address health inequalities
  • help people, families and communities to achieve and maintain wellbeing

It also aims to bring the VCSE sector’s voice and expertise into national policy making.

The alliance succeeds the Health and Care Strategic Partner Programme, which ended on 31 March 2017.

News story: NHS-funded nursing care rate for 2017 to 2018

15 March 2017, 3:59 pm

The reduction follows a review of agency costs by Mazars LLP in 2017

Registered nursing care for eligible nursing home residents is funded by the NHS, with the standard weekly rate per patient currently set at £156.25. This was a 40% increase on the 2015 to 2016 rate following an earlier review of the overall rate by Mazars in 2016.

In announcing the 40% increase last year, the government committed to further review the contribution of agency staff costs to the rate. In line with Mazars’ latest evidence on agency costs, the government will now reduce the agency cost component of the rate by £3.29 to allow for lower agency costs. This reduction is partially offset by an uplift in the remainder of the rate by 1.7% to reflect overall nursing wage pressures.

These rates are based on the best evidence currently available to the Department of Health on the costs of providing nursing care in the sector.

The Department of Health plans to consult on the introduction of a regional rate of NHS-funded nursing care ahead of future rate change announcements.


The headline agency cost reduction calculated by Mazars (on page 4 of their report) has been uprated based on a 1% uplift. The Department of Health has decided that for the non-agency component of the rate, a 1.7% uplift for overall changes in staffing costs should be applied for a full year (this approach is based on recommendations from the Mazars 2016 review).

The Department of Health has therefore taken the agency rate on page 15 of the most recent Mazars report and applied a consistent 1.7% methodology for 6 months of the year. This is because the agency data runs to September 2016 (see page 35 of report). This ensures the uprate methodology for both the agency and non-agency component of the rate is on a consistent basis, and uprated to April 2017 for overall estimated changes in staffing costs.

The higher rate of NHS-funded nursing care will be reduced to £213.32 per week, the same percentage decrease as applied to the standard weekly rate (this is only relevant for those people who were already on the higher rate in 2007 when the single band was introduced).

Speech: Ambition interrupted: Young Carers Awareness Day

25 January 2017, 1:41 pm

I can’t imagine there’s a single person on this planet who, at some point in their lives, has not had a dream or ambition they wanted to achieve. Mine was to be a professional pilot.

Whether we want to succeed in education, business, politics or another sphere, our aspirations and desires are acutely personal – never more so than when we are young. So, when life circumstances change, resulting in children and young people caring for parents or siblings whilst still in school, higher education or work – it’s not difficult to understand how hopes and dreams can be derailed.

That’s why ‘When I Grow Up’ is this year’s theme for Young Carers Awareness Day. Organised by Carers Trust, it’s about remembering what we aspired to in our youth, connecting those aspirations to better ways to support young carers now and helping them fulfil life goals alongside caring.

An estimated 700,000 young carers in the UK provide care in, or outside, family homes for someone who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misusing drugs or alcohol. The median age of a young carer is 13. On average, 2 young carers in every UK secondary school miss or cut short around 10 weeks of school each year because of their caring role. Many report problems coping with school work and nearly 60% say they struggle to meet deadlines.

Most young carers are happy and proud to care for loved ones, but too often this important role goes unnoticed. Young people not only have to cope with the complexities of growing and learning, but also that of their parents or siblings’ health conditions, preventing them from enjoying childhood in the way other children do. It’s a challenge no one, regardless of age, should face alone – especially if they have their own health concerns.

However, when you consider the difficulty of identifying young carers (some choose to keep their caring role private or may not see themselves in that way), it is likely that nationally – as with older carers – we are underestimating numbers and levels of need. Whatever the scale of the problem, our children’s futures should not be compromised by a collective lack of awareness which exposes them to excessive or inappropriate caring responsibilities.

Young carers need to be identified early and directed to help and support already available in many schools and colleges, such as the young carers in schools programme. Identification, though, should not be an end in itself. We must support young carers to achieve their potential at school, in further education, training and work.

It’s why the new national carers strategy, launching this year, has such an important role to play in facilitating opportunity, health and wellbeing for all carers. It will recognise that truly effective support can only happen when we reach beyond health and care services into schools, workplaces and community centres. The more we all know, the more we can do to help.

The strategy will build on progress made in recent years. We’ve already changed the law to improve how young carers and families are identified and supported. And our work with care sector partners, including Carers Trust, Children’s Society and the Learning and Work Institute – means that together we are helping local authorities to plan, commission and deliver services providing better outcomes.

I personally feel very fortunate about the opportunities I’ve enjoyed in my life – opportunities that have culminated in the enormous privilege to be health minister with responsibilities for carers and the cared for. If I had been obliged to take time out to look after loved ones in my teens or twenties, my life may have turned out quite differently.

I’d therefore like to echo the Carers Trust’s challenge to get involved and take action to raise awareness and support for young carers. In your communities, schools and work places display posters, post messages on social media, and even record short films about what you wanted to be when you were younger. You’ll find plenty of resources to support you on the Carers Trust’s website.

In short, let’s realise our collective ambition to do more for young carers – they deserve it.

Statement to Parliament: Mental health and NHS performance

9 January 2017, 5:52 pm

With permission Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a statement on mental health and NHS performance.

This government is committed to a shared society in which public services work to the highest standards for everyone. This includes plans announced this morning by the Prime Minister on mental health.

I am proud that, under this government, 1,400 more people are accessing mental health services every day compared to 2010 and we are investing more in mental health than ever before, with plans for 1 million more people with mental health conditions to access services by 2020. But we recognise that there is more to do so as will proceed with plans to further improve mental health provision including:

  • formally accepting the recommendations of the Independent Taskforce on Mental Health which will see mental health spend increase by £1 billion a year by the end of the parliament
  • a green paper on children and young people’s mental health to be published before the end of the year
  • enabling every secondary school to train someone in mental health first aid
  • a new partnership with employers to support mental health in the workplace
  • up to £15 million extra invested in places of safety for those in crisis following the highly successful start to this programme in the last parliament
  • an ambitious expansion of digital mental health provision
  • an updated and more comprehensive suicide prevention strategy

Further details of these plans are contained in the written ministerial statement laid in the House this morning.

However turning to winter, as our most precious public service, the NHS has been under sustained pressure for a number of years. In just 6 years the number of people over 80 has risen by 340,000 and life expectancy has risen by 12 months. As a result, demand is unprecedented: the Tuesday after Christmas was the busiest day in the history of the NHS and some hospitals are reporting that A&E attendances are up to 30% higher compared to last year. I therefore want to set out how we intend to protect the service through an extremely challenging period and sustain it for the future.

First Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to staff on the frontline. 1.3 million NHS staff, alongside another 1.4 million in the social care system, do an incredible job which is frankly humbling for all of us in this House. An estimated 150,000 medical staff, and many more non-medical staff, worked on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. They have never worked harder to keep patients safe and the whole country is in their debt.

With respect to this winter, the NHS has made more extensive preparations than ever before. We started the run up to the winter period with over 1,600 more doctors and 3,000 more nurses than just a year ago, bringing the total increase since 2010 to 11,400 more doctors and 11,200 more hospital nurses. The NHS allocated £400m to local health systems for winter preparedness; it nationally assured the winter plans of every trust; it launched the largest ever flu vaccination programme, with over 13 million people already vaccinated; and it also bolstered support outside A&Es with 12,000 additional GP sessions offered over the festive period.

The result has been that this winter has already seen days where A&Es have treated a record number of people within 4 hours, and there have been fewer serious incidents declared than many expected. As Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers said, although there have been serious problems at some trusts, the system as a whole is doing slightly better than last year.

However there are indeed a number of trusts when the situation has been extremely fragile. All of last week’s A&E diverts happened at 19 trusts, of which 4 are in special measures. The most recent statistics showed that nearly three-quarters of trolley waits occurred in just 2 trusts. In Worcestershire in particular there have been a number of unacceptably long trolley waits and 2 deaths whilst patients were in A&E. We are also aware of ongoing problems in North Midlands with extremely high numbers of 12 hour trolley waits.

Nationally the NHS has taken urgent action to support these trusts, including working intensively with leadership and brokering conversations with social care partners to generate a joined up approach across systems of concern.

As of this weekend, there are some signs that pressure is easing both in the most distressed trusts and across the system. However, with further cold weather on the way this weekend, a spike in respiratory infections and a rise in flu there will be further challenges ahead.

So NHS England and NHS Improvement will also consider a series of further measures which may be taken in particularly distressed systems on a temporary basis at the discretion of the local clinical leaders. These may include:

  • temporarily releasing time for GPs to support urgent care work
  • clinically triaging non-urgent calls to the ambulance service for residents of nursing and residential home before they are taken to hospital
  • continuing to suspend elective care, including, where appropriate, suspension of non-urgent outpatient appointments
  • working with the CQC on rapid re-inspection where this has the potential to re-open community health and social care bed capacity
  • working with community trusts and community nursing teams to speed up discharge

Taken together these actions will give the NHS the flexibility to take further measures as and when appropriate at a local level.

However, looking to the future, it is clear we need to have an honest discussion with the public about the purpose of A&E departments. There is nowhere outside the UK that commits to all patients that we will sort out any urgent health need within 4 hours. Only 4 other countries, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia and Canada, have similar national standards which are generally less stringent than ours.

This government is committed to maintaining and delivering that vital 4 hour commitment to patients. But since it was announced in 2000, nearly 9 million more people are using our A&Es, up to 30% of whom NHS England estimate do not need to be there, and the tide is continuing to rise.

So if we are going to protect the 4 hour standard, we need to be clear it is a promise to sort out all urgent health problems within 4 hours, but not all health problems however minor. As Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s Medical Director for Acute Care, has said, no country in the world has a standard for all health problems, however small, and – if we are to protect services for the most vulnerable – nor can we. So NHS England and NHS Improvement will continue to explore ways to ensure that at least some of the patients who do not need to be in A&Es can be given good alternative options, building on progress underway with the streaming policy in the NHS England A&E plan. This way we will be able to improve the patient experience for those with more minor conditions who are currently not seen within 4 hours as well as protect the 4 hour promise for those who actually need it.
In the meantime, when it comes to NHS provision more broadly, we will not let up on our commitment to a shared society in which public services work to the highest standards for everyone. This includes plans announced by the Prime Minister this morning on mental health.

Mr Speaker, taken together what I have announced today are plans to support the NHS in a difficult period, but also plans for a government that is ambitious for our NHS, quite simply, to offer the safest, highest quality care available anywhere for both mental and physical health. But they will take time to come to fruition, and in the meantime all of our thoughts are with NHS and social care staff who are working extremely hard over the winter, and throughout the year, both inside and outside our hospitals and I commend this statement to the House.

Speech: The shared society: Prime Minister’s speech at the Charity Commission annual meeting

9 January 2017, 2:05 pm

The shared society: Prime Minister’s speech

Thank you for inviting me to be here this morning to deliver the prestigious Charity Commission annual lecture.

I am delighted to have this opportunity to express my appreciation for all those who work in our charity sector and for those who freely give their time, money and expertise in the service of others. We are a country built on the bonds of family, community and citizenship and there is no greater example of the strength of those bonds than our great movement of charities and social enterprises.

But the strength of that civil society – which I believe we should treasure deeply – does not just depend on the ingenuity, generosity and commitment of countless volunteers, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists. As with other parts of our economy, it also depends on the practices that our charities and social enterprises adopt; and above all on the public trust they command.

That is why the work that William, Paula and their team at the Charity Commission are doing is so important. Because the reforms they are leading are strengthening the sector – and together with the new Fundraising Regulator – ensuring public confidence in our charities and the contribution they make in helping to meet some of the greatest social challenges of our time.

The challenge of our time

And let’s be clear that some of those challenges are significant and long-standing.

We live in a country where if you’re born poor, you will die on average 9 years earlier than others. If you’re black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white. If you’re a white, working-class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university. If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately. If you’re a woman, you’re likely to be paid less than a man. If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s not enough help to hand. If you’re young, you’ll find it harder than ever before to own your own home.

There are not easy answers to these problems, but it is vital that we come together to address them. For they are all burning injustices that undermine the solidarity of our society and stunt our capacity to build the stronger, fairer country that we want Britain to be.

But the challenges don’t end there. Governments have traditionally been good at identifying – if not always addressing – such problems. However, the mission I have laid out for the government – to make Britain a country that works for everyone and not just the privileged few – goes further. It means more than fighting these obvious injustices. It means acknowledging and addressing the everyday injustices that too many people feel too.

Because while the obvious injustices receive a lot of attention – with the language of social justice and social mobility a staple of most politicians today – the everyday injustices are too often overlooked.

But if you’re from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise. The injustice you feel may be less obvious, but it burns inside you just the same.

For you have a job but you don’t always have job security. You have your own home, but you worry about paying the mortgage. You can just about manage but you worry about the cost of living and getting your kids into a good school.

You are putting in long hours with little time for yourself – working to live, and living to work. You give work your all, but there is still little left over at the end of the month to spend on the things that really matter to you. Your wages have stagnated for several years in a row, and you feel you are getting by, not necessarily getting on.

And at the same time, over recent years these people have felt locked out of the political and social discourse in Britain. If they voiced their concerns, their views were shut down. Decisions made in faraway places didn’t always seem to be the right decisions for them. They saw their community changing, but didn’t remember being consulted – or agreeing to – that change. They looked at the changing world – the onset of globalisation and the advances in technology – and worried about what the future held for their children and grandchildren.

It is clear to me – and I believe that last year’s vote to leave the European Union partially revealed this to be true – that there are growing numbers of people in every part of our country – in our cities, suburbs, towns, countryside and coastal areas – for whom this is the reality of life.

And the consequence is this: when you see others prospering while you are not; when you try to raise your concerns but they fall on deaf ears; when you feel your very identity – all that you hold dear – is under threat, resentments grow, and the divisions that we see around us – between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation; between the wealth of London and the rest of the country; between the rich, the successful and the powerful, and their fellow citizens – become entrenched.

That’s why I believe that – when we consider both the obvious and the everyday injustices in unison – we see that the central challenge of our times is to overcome division and bring our country together by ensuring everyone has the chance to share in the wealth and opportunity on offer in Britain today. And that starts by building something that I call the shared society.

The shared society

The shared society is one that doesn’t just value our individual rights but focuses rather more on the responsibilities we have to one another.

It’s a society that respects the bonds that we share as a union of people and nations. The bonds of family, community, citizenship and strong institutions.

And it’s a society that recognises the obligations we have as citizens – obligations that make our society work.

A few months ago at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, I upset some by saying that “if you think you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere”.

But my point was simple. It was that the very word ‘citizen’ implies that we have responsibilities to the people around us. The people in our community, on our streets, in our places of work. And too often today, those responsibilities have been forgotten as the cult of individualism has taken hold, and globalisation and the democratisation of communications has encouraged people to look beyond their own communities and immediate networks in the name of joining a broader global community.

I want to be absolutely clear about what I am saying here. I am not arguing against globalisation – nor the benefits it brings – from modern travel and modern media to new products in our shops and new opportunities for British companies to export their goods to millions of consumers all around the world. Indeed, I have argued that Britain has an historic global opportunity to lead the world in shaping the forces of globalisation so that everyone shares in the benefits of economic growth.

But just as we need to act to address the economic inequalities that have emerged in recent years, so we also need to recognise the way that a more global and individualistic world can sometimes loosen the ties that bind our society together, leaving some people feeling locked out and left behind.

And the central tenet of my belief – the thing that shapes my approach – is that there is more to life than individualism and self-interest.

We form families, communities, towns, cities, counties and nations. And we embrace the responsibilities those institutions imply. And government has a clear role to play to support this conception of society.

It is to act to encourage and nurture those relationships, networks and institutions where it can. And it is to step up to correct injustices and tackle unfairness at every turn – because injustice and unfairness are the things that drive us apart.

This means a government rooted not in the laissez-faire liberalism that leaves people to get by on their own, but rather in a new philosophy that means government stepping up – not just in the traditional way of providing a welfare state to support the most vulnerable, as vital as that will always be. But actually in going further to help those who have been ignored by government for too long because they don’t fall into the income bracket that makes them qualify for welfare support.

It means making a significant shift in the way that government works in Britain. Because government and politicians have for years talked the language of social justice – where we help the very poorest – and social mobility – where we help the brightest among the poor. But to deliver the change we need and build that shared society, we must move beyond this agenda and deliver real social reform across every layer of society so that those who feel that the system is stacked against them – those just above the threshold that attracts the government’s focus today yet who are by no means rich or well off – are also given the help they need.

So we will recalibrate how we approach policy development to ensure that everything we do as government helps to give those who are just getting by a fair chance – while still helping those who are most disadvantaged. Because people who are just managing, just getting by, don’t need a government that will get out of the way, they need a government that will make the system work for them. An active government that will help them share in the growing prosperity of post-Brexit Britain.

That’s why we will shortly launch a new housing white paper to boost supply, tackle the increasing lack of affordability, and so help ordinary working people with the high costs of this most basic of necessities.

It’s why we will shortly publish a green paper to put forward our approach for a modern industrial strategy, setting out our plans to encourage growth, innovation and investment and ensure that as we aim to increase our overall prosperity – that prosperity is shared by people in every corner of our country.

It’s why as part of building a great meritocracy I have already outlined plans to increase the number of good school places so that every child – not just those who are fortunate to have parents who can afford to move to a good catchment area or pay to go private – can enjoy a school place that caters to their individual interests, abilities and needs.

So with all these steps we will deliver this new agenda of social reform. And government will step up to support and – where necessary – enforce the responsibilities we have to each other as citizens, so that we respect the bonds and obligations that make our society work.

This means government supporting free markets as the basis for our prosperity, but stepping in to repair them when they aren’t working as they should.

It means standing up for business as a great driver of prosperity and progress, but taking action when a minority of businesses and business figures tear away at the social contract between business and society by working to a different set of rules from everyone else.

It means creating an environment in which our charities and social enterprises can thrive – but responding when a small minority pursue inappropriate and unacceptable fundraising practices.

And it means not being ambivalent about the efforts of all those who give their time, money and expertise in the service of others; but recognising, supporting and championing those who lead the way in shaping a civil society that can bring the talents of so many in our voluntary sector to bear on some of the great social challenges that we face together.

That is why I have continued the important work that David Cameron began through the Points of Light programme, using the office of Prime Minister every day to recognise an outstanding volunteer in Britain whose service can be an inspiration to us all. It is why we are making National Citizen Service a rite of passage for every young person in Britain and supporting all those brilliant organisations in the Prince of Wales’ #iwill campaign who are encouraging our young people to give their time in the service of others.

And it is why we will continue to lead the way internationally in the development of social finance to harness the full potential of our charities and social enterprises in working with business and government to tackle some of the biggest social challenges in our country.

Our opportunity and responsibility

This is the new approach – the new philosophy – that we need in Britain today. An approach with fairness and solidarity at its heart.

And as we reflect on – and implement – the result of the referendum, we must recognise that we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to deliver the change that people need.

An opportunity because Britain is going through a period of great national change, and as we do so we have a once-in-a-generation chance to step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be.

A responsibility because a failure to take this opportunity to show the ability of mainstream, centre-ground politics to respond to public concern would further entrench the very divisions we seek to overcome.

For we know what happens when mainstream, centre-ground politics fails. People embrace the fringe – the politics of division and despair. They turn to those who offer easy answers – who claim to understand people’s problems and always know what – and who – to blame.

We see those fringe voices gaining prominence in some countries across Europe today – voices from the hard-left and the far-right stepping forward and sensing that this is their time.

But they stand on the shoulders of mainstream politicians who have allowed unfairness and division to grow by ignoring the legitimate concerns of ordinary people for too long.

Politicians who embraced the twin pillars of liberalism and globalisation as the great forces for good that they are, but failed to understand that for too many people – particularly those on modest to low incomes living in rich countries like our own – those forces are something to be concerned, not thrilled, about.

Politicians who supported and promoted an economic system that works well for a privileged few, but failed to ensure that the prosperity generated by free markets and free trade is shared by everyone, in every corner and community of their land.

Politicians who made the deals and signed the agreements that changed the nature of their country, but failed to listen to the public’s concerns – dismissing them as somehow parochial or illegitimate instead.

The result of this consensus – this way of conducting politics – has been to bring us to a place where all the old certainties are called into question.

People are questioning whether the system of globalisation, free markets and free trade – one that has underpinned so much of our prosperity – is actually working for them.

When they lose their jobs, or their wages stagnate, or their dreams such as owning a home seem out of reach, they feel it is even working against them – serving not their interests or ambitions, but those of a privileged few.

And they are questioning the legitimacy of all the old institutions and systems we have relied on for decades. They have seen a small minority in the banking and business sectors appearing to game the system and play by their own rules. They have watched Parliament dragged into a row about political expenses, the media mired in questions about phone-hacking, a system that allows lawyers to get rich by hounding our brave troops.
And they come to a simple conclusion: that there is one rule for the rich and powerful and another for everyone else.

This is dangerous for it sows division and despair as the gap between those who are prospering and those who are not gets ever larger, and resentments grow.

And it emboldens the voices of protectionism and isolation who would tear down all we have achieved and take us back to the past.

So our responsibility is great. It is to show that mainstream, centre-ground politics can deliver the change people need. That mainstream, centre-ground politics can respond to public concern. And that a mainstream, centre-ground government understands what needs to change and has a plan to set things right.

Our plan for a stronger, fairer Britain

And that’s why this government has a plan, not simply to manage our withdrawal from the European Union, but to take this opportunity to fundamentally change Britain for the better.

A comprehensive, wide-ranging plan for the kind of country we want to be. A plan to build a country where wealth and opportunity are shared; where all of us, no matter what our background, play by the same rules; and where future generations enjoy the same opportunities from which their parents have benefited throughout their lives.

I will say more about this plan in the coming weeks. I will talk more about our plans for economic reform, our plans to build a global Britain and our ambitions to build a more united country.

But at the heart of the plan is a commitment to building a fairer society and tackling the burning injustices that have been allowed to stand for too long.

The burning injustice of mental illness

And I want to turn to one of those burning injustices in particular – the burning injustice of mental health and inadequate treatment that demands a new approach from government and society as a whole.

Let me be clear: mental health problems affect people of all ages and all backgrounds. An estimated 1 in 4 of us has a common mental disorder at any one time. The economic and social cost of mental illness is £105 billion – roughly the same as we spend on the NHS in its entirety.

And for children – 1 in 10 of whom has a diagnosable condition – the long term effects can be crippling: children with behavioural disorders are 4 times more likely to be drug dependent, 6 times more likely to die before the age of 30, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

We all know someone – a family member, friend or colleague – who is directly affected by mental health problems. But while people talk about ‘parity of esteem’ – and it was a Conservative-led government that legislated for it – there is no escaping the fact that people with mental health problems are still not treated the same as if they have a physical ailment – or the fact that all of us – government, employers, schools, charities – need to do more to support all of our mental wellbeing.

As Home Secretary I was determined to take on the grave injustices concerning mental illness that were within my remit – and I made improving the police response to people with mental health needs a top priority.

And I am delighted that we have taken great strides forward in reducing the number of people suffering a mental health crisis who end up in a police cell, for want of somewhere else to go.

Since 2011 to 2012, there has been an almost 80% reduction of such incidences across England – so more people detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act are rightly being taken to a health-based place of safety, rather than being held in a cell.

And for children and young people the reduction is comparable, and through the Policing and Crime Bill I personally introduced, this practice will be abolished entirely for under 18s from this spring.

This proves that innovative reforms that challenge the established way of doing things can improve the response to mental illness.

Now as Prime Minister I want us to go further. I want us to employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society, and at every stage of life.

For years the only people who have stood up for those with mental ill health have been civil society groups and charities. Now I want us to build upon your success and the fantastic work that many including those here today are doing.

Organisations such as Mind who have led the way in helping those experiencing mental health problems. The Heads Together campaign – and the fantastic leadership shown by their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – that aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health problems.

And the tremendous campaigning work by Black Mental Health UK – with whom I worked at the Home Office – to expose injustices in the way black people with mental ill health in particular are treated, and ensure politicians take action to put things right.

So you are leading the way – but today I want us to forge a new approach recognising our responsibility to each other, and make mental illness an everyday concern for all of us and in every one of our institutions.

What I am announcing are the first steps in our plan to transform the way we deal with mental health problems at every stage of a person’s life: not in our hospitals, but in our classrooms, at work and in our communities.

This starts with ensuring that children and teenagers get the help and support they need and deserve – because we know that mental illness too often starts in childhood and that when left untreated, it can blight lives, and become entrenched.

There is, for example, evidence to suggest an increase in self-harm among young people, with the number of 16- to 24-year-old women reporting self-harm increasing threefold – to 1 in 5 – between 2000 and 2014.

And we know that the use of social media brings additional concerns and challenges. In 2014, just over 1 in 10 young people said that they had experienced cyberbullying by phone or over the internet.

So first, we will introduce a package of measures to transform the way we respond to mental illness in young people starting in our schools.

We will pilot new approaches such as offering mental health first aid training for teachers and staff to help them identify and assist children experiencing mental health problems. And we will trial approaches to ensure schools and colleges work closer together with local NHS services to provide dedicated children and young people’s mental health services.

These steps will accompany a major thematic review – led by the Care Quality Commission with input from Ofsted – looking at services for children and teenagers across the country to find out what is working, and what is not.

Following this, CQC and Ofsted will consider how their future joint programme of inspections can ensure child and adolescent mental health services are properly held to account for performance.

And alongside these reviews, later this year we will bring forward a new green paper on children and young people’s mental health to transform services in education and for families.

These measures will build on the work we are already doing to put a stop to the untold misery of hundreds of children being sent halfway across the country to access mental health services.

By 2021, no child will be sent away from their local area to be treated for a general mental health condition.

But treatment is only part of the answer. We must look at what more can be done to prevent mental health problems, and work with you to capitalise on the crucial role civil society has to play in helping young people – and indeed people of all ages – build resilience.

Second, I want us to do more to support mental wellbeing in the workplace. So I have asked Lord Stevenson, who has campaigned on these issues for many years, and Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind and Chair of the NHS Mental Health Taskforce, to work with leading employers and mental health groups to create a new partnership with industry, and make prevention and breaking the stigma top priorities for employers. Because mental wellbeing doesn’t just improve the health of employees, it improves their motivation, reduces their absence and drives better productivity too.

We will also review employment discrimination laws for employees with mental health problems to ensure they are properly supported.

And we will do everything we can to get the right support to those with mental health problems who are out of work. For example, through our global leadership on social impact bonds – which drive investment in social outcomes – we are already providing up to £50 million to support those with mental health issues back into work and to help local areas tackle the link between drug and alcohol dependency and co-existing mental health problems.

Third, I want to ensure more people get the support they need, when they need it, in their communities. So we will make up to £15 million of extra funding available for community clinics, crisis cafes, and alternative places of safety to support a wider range of preventative services in the community, and ensure that charities, churches and community organisations can access funding to run them too.

And we are already investing over £10 million to support the fast track Think Ahead programme – which aims to increase the number of high-calibre mental health social workers – by at least 300.

Fourth, we will rapidly expand the treatment available by investing £67.7 million in digital mental health services. Online therapy has the potential to transform the way mental health services are delivered by allowing people to check their symptoms, be triaged online and receive clinically-assisted therapy over the internet much more quickly and easily, assuming it is clinically appropriate. These treatments have been tested in other countries and they work. In the right cases, they can offer access to treatment far quicker than traditional services.

Fifth, we will right the everyday injustices that those with mental illness encounter – starting by examining GP forms relating to mental health and debt. Because sometimes those whose illness has resulted in debt, or means they are struggling to pay their debt, have to prove their mental ill-health to debt collectors and pay their GP to fill in a form to do so. Such a process can worsen both mental illness and financial difficulties, so we will work with the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute to consult on these forms, with a view to ending the practice.

And finally, today we are publishing a strengthened cross-government suicide prevention strategy, which sets out a comprehensive plan to reduce the suicide rate in this Parliament, and targets those most at risk such as young and middle-aged men, those in contact with the criminal justice system and those in the care of mental health services. Because, on average, 13 people kill themselves every day in England, and if we want to improve the life chances of current and future generations, we need to address this shocking reality.

And in addition to all this we will ensure that the NHS itself takes the steps it needs to ensure that parity means just that: parity. We will hold the NHS leadership to account for the extra £1 billion we invested in mental health last year. We will make sure that mental illness gets the attention it deserves, in funding, research and technology investment. And we will be clear that when NHS leaders are redesigning services and developing new local solutions, mental health should get its full weighting.

As I have said these are just the first steps in our plan to transform our approach to mental health in this country. Meeting this challenge will take years and require more than government action alone – it will need a sustained effort on the part of everyone in this room and everyone across society.

But this is a historic opportunity to right a wrong, and give people deserving of compassion and support the attention and treatment they deserve. And for all of us to change the way we view mental illness so that striving to improve mental wellbeing is seen as just as natural, positive and good as striving to improve our physical wellbeing.

For too long, mental illness has been something of a hidden injustice in our country, shrouded in a completely unacceptable stigma and dangerously disregarded as a secondary issue to physical health. Yet left unaddressed, it destroys lives, separates people from each other and deepens the divisions within our society. Changing this goes right to the heart of our humanity; to the heart of the kind of country we are, the attitudes we hold and the values we share.

I remember the reaction when, back in 2012, Charles Walker and Kevan Jones spoke in Parliament about their own personal challenges with mental illness. The courage of these 2 MPs – Conservative and Labour – to speak out in this way, encouraged us all to put aside party differences and come together in solidarity.

That sense of solidarity will be essential in helping us to transform the support we offer those with mental health conditions and to defeat the stigma that makes addressing this issue so much harder than it should be. But I also believe that in a wider sense, that commitment to strengthening the bonds we share as a union of people, can be a defining part of how we meet the great challenge of our time and bring our whole country together.

It is by tackling the injustice and unfairness that drives us apart and by nurturing the responsibilities of citizenship that we can build that shared society – and make it the bedrock of a stronger and fairer Britain that truly does work for everyone.

Speech: Mental health problems are everyone’s problem: article by Theresa May

9 January 2017, 11:20 am

It is a tragic fact that 1 in 10 children in this country has a diagnosable mental health condition.

The long-term effects can be crippling: children with behavioural disorders are 4 times more likely to be dependent on drugs, 6 times more likely to die before the age of 30, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

While this government legislated for ‘parity of esteem’ in healthcare – so that whatever your illness, physical or mental, you are treated the same – very often the treatment for those with mental illnesses is inadequate.

For years it has fallen to civil society, charities, and the media to take on the problem – and I applaud all the work that the Huffington Post has done to raise awareness through its Young Minds Matter series.

But it is time for government to do more – to join HuffPost and other campaigners in the fight against something that blights so many young lives.

The need is urgent: the number of girls saying they’ve self-harmed has more than trebled in recent years, as just 1 example.

That’s why I raised mental health during my speech when I arrived at Downing Street for the first time as Prime Minister.

And it’s why today I’m announcing a step-change in the way that we deal with these issues.

I want to see mental health addressed not just in our hospitals, but in our classrooms and communities.

I want to see the stigma stripped away so that no-one in this country feels unable to talk about what they’re going through or seek help.

I want to see a focus on prevention as well as treatment, especially since so many adult mental health problems – which 1 in 4 of us will suffer from at any one time – begin in childhood.

This is part of a wider approach to tackle the burning injustices we face in society, and to build a stronger, fairer Britain that works for everyone.

For no parent should feel helpless when watching their child suffer. No teacher should feel ill-equipped to deal with a troubled pupil. No teenager should have to leave their local area to seek treatment. No child should ever be left to feel like their life is not worth living.

Mental health problems are everyone’s problem. As a society we must face up to that fact. And the announcements I am making today will ensure we do just that.

Press release: Prime Minister unveils plans to transform mental health support

9 January 2017, 11:20 am

  • PM: “I want us to employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society”
  • comprehensive package of reforms to improve mental health support at every stage of a person’s life – with an emphasis on early intervention for children and young people
  • leading mental health figures to undertake independent expert report on companies’ work to support mental health

Delivering the annual Charity Commission lecture today, Prime Minister Theresa May will announce a comprehensive package of measures to transform mental health support in our schools, workplaces and communities.

The Prime Minister will say that true parity for mental and physical health can only be achieved if every institution recognises the vital role it can play in delivering this objective.

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to say:

For too long mental illness has been something of a hidden injustice in our country, shrouded in a completely unacceptable stigma and dangerously disregarded as a secondary issue to physical health. Yet left unaddressed, it destroys lives, it separates people from each other and deepens the divisions within our society. Changing this goes right to the heart of our humanity; to the heart of the kind of country we are, the values we share, the attitudes we hold and our determination to come together and support each other.

I want us to employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society, and at every stage of life.

What I am announcing are the first steps in our plan to transform the way we deal with mental illness in this country at every stage of a person’s life: not in our hospitals, but in our classrooms, at work and in our communities.

This starts with ensuring that children and young people get the help and support they need and deserve – because we know that mental illness too often starts in childhood and that when left untreated, can blight lives, and become entrenched.

This is a historic opportunity to right a wrong, and give people deserving of compassion and support the attention and treatment they deserve. And for all of us to change the way we view mental illness so that striving to improve mental wellbeing is seen as just as natural, positive and good as striving to improve our physical wellbeing.

The plans to tackle the burning injustice of mental illness form part of the government’s wider commitment to wholesale social reform – and its mission to create a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

The Prime Minister’s speech this morning follows her words on the steps of Downing Street, where she vowed to create a country where if you struggle to get by, the government will do what it can to help; and a government which stands up to vested interests and tackles the everyday injustices that have been ignored for too long.

The speech will set out her determination to build a shared society based on the values of citizenship, responsibility and fairness, backed by a government which takes an active role in helping those who feel they have been ignored for too long.

The plans aim to make mental health an everyday concern for every bit of the system, helping ensure that no one affected by mental ill-health goes unattended. It includes:

  • new support for schools with every secondary school in the country to be offered mental health first aid training and new trials to look at how to strengthen the links between schools and local NHS mental health staff. There will also be a major thematic review of children and adolescent mental health services across the country, led by the Care Quality Commission, to identify what is working and what is not and a new green paper on children and young people’s mental health to set out plans to transform services in schools, universities and for families

  • a new partnership with employers to improve mental health support in the workplace. The Prime Minister has appointed Lord Dennis Stevenson, the long-time campaigner for greater understanding and treatment of mental illness, and Paul Farmer CBE, CEO of Mind and Chair of the NHS Mental Health Taskforce, to drive work with business and the public sector to support mental health in the workplace. These experts will lead a review on how best to ensure employees with mental health problems are enabled to thrive in the workplace and perform at their best. This will involve practical help including promoting best practice and learning from trailblazer employers, as well as offering tools to organisations, whatever size they are, to assist with employee well-being and mental health. It will review recommendations around discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of mental health

  • further alternatives to hospital to support people in the community. Recognising that seeing a GP or going to A&E is not or does not feel like the right intervention for many people with mental ill-health, the government will build on its £15 million investment to provide and promote new models of community – based care such as crisis cafes and community clinics. The initial £15 million investment led to 88 new places of safety being created and the government now plans to spend up to a further £15 million to build on this success

  • plans to rapidly expand treatment by investing in and expanding digital mental health services. Digitally assisted therapy has already proved successful in other countries and the government will speed up the delivery of a £67.7 million digital mental health package so that those worried about stress, anxiety or more serious issues can go online, check their symptoms and if needed, access digital therapy immediately rather than waiting weeks for a face-to-face appointment – with further follow up face-to-face sessions offered as necessary

  • new ways to right the injustices people with mental health problems face. Despite known links between debt and mental health, currently hundreds of mental health patients are charged up to £300 by their GP for a form to prove they have mental health issues. To end this unfair practice the Department for Health will undertake a formal review of the mental health debt form, working with Money and Mental Health. The government will also support NHS England’s commitment to eliminate inappropriate placements to inpatient beds for children and young people by 2021 – a practice which currently sees hundreds of children being sent halfway across the country to access mental health services

One in 4 people has a common mental disorder at any one time and the economic and social cost of mental illness is £105 billion – similar to the entire annual NHS budget.

Figures show mental illness also disproportionately affects young people and those on lower and middle incomes with over half of mental health problems starting by the age of 14 and 75% by 18.

In 2014 mental health conditions affected almost 1 in 5 of all working-age people and around 1 in 7 of people in full-time employment. In the workplace 18 million days were lost to sickness absence caused by mental health conditions in 2015 at a cost of around £9 billion a year to employers.

Today’s announcements build on improvements to mental health support since 2010. The government is currently investing more in mental health than ever before – spending an estimated £11.7 billion a year and has already legislated to give mental and physical health equal priority in law.

The first ever access and waiting standards have also been introduced for both talking therapies and early intervention in psychosis and the government is investing £1.4 billion over the course of this Parliament into mental health support for children and young people.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said:

It’s important to see the Prime Minister talking about mental health and shows how far we have come in bringing the experiences of people with mental health problems up the political agenda. Mental health should be at the heart of government, and at the heart of society and communities – it’s been on the periphery for far too long.

We welcome the announcements around a focus on prevention in schools and workplaces and support for people in crisis. The proof will be in the difference it makes to the day-to-day experience of the 1 in 4 who will experience a mental health problem this year. Mental health is everyone’s business and we need to see sustained leadership to make sure services and support improve for all of us with mental health problems. Having been neglected for decades, we need to see it made a priority for decades to come to make sure everyone with mental health problems can live the life they want to lead.

In a statement issued today, Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman of the Heads Together campaign, said:

The Prime Minister’s announcements today are extremely important and very welcome, as they show both a willingness to tackle the broad challenge of mental health support and a practical grasp of how to start making a real difference.

As the chair of Heads Together, an alliance of charity and corporate partners committed to changing the national conversation on mental health, I would urge all involved in the sector to collaborate and build on these initiatives.


Mental health training for teachers and staff will be rolled out to a third of secondary schools this year (around 1,200 schools), with the remaining two-thirds of secondary schools offered this training in the following 2 years. The training will be run by Mental Health First Aid UK working with the government.

The government will also consult employers, charities and legal experts to gather evidence about current discrimination protections for workers with mental ill-health.

Existing laws already protect people when mental illness is classed as a disability – when the illness persists for a year or more – but for many common disorders, such as depression, average length of illness can be much shorter and there is anecdotal evidence of people facing issues in employment in these situations.

News story: 2017 New Year Honours for health and social care services

30 December 2016, 10:30 pm

People from across the health and care community have been acknowledged for their service in the latest New Year Honours awards.

Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire

Sir Cyril Chantler, Emeritus Professor Guy’s, King’s, and St Thomas’s Medical School For services to leadership in healthcare

Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Professor Caroline Leigh Watkins, Professor of Stroke and Older People’s Care, College of Health and Wellbeing, University of Central Lancashire For services to nursing and older people’s care
Professor Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu CBE, Emeritus Professor of Nursing For services to nursing and the Mary Seacole Statue Appeal

Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire

David Morgan Sloman, Chief Executive, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust For services to the NHS
Professor Nicholas Andrew Black, Professor of Health Services Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine For services to healthcare research
David Behan CBE, Chief Executive, Care Quality Commission For services to health and care

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Edward Webb, Lately Deputy Director, Tissue, Embryology, Donation and Sponsorship, Department of Health For services to health science
Mrs Angela Rippon OBE, Development Lead, Dementia Friendly Communities For services to dementia care
Professor Peter Leslie Weissberg, Lately Medical Director, British Heart Foundation For services to medical research and cardiovascular health
Professor Geraldine Walters, Lately Director of Nursing & Midwifery, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust For services to nursing and midwifery
Dr Stephen Charles Inglis, Lately Director, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency For services to health protection
Mrs Cecilia Anim, President, Royal College of Nursing and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Women’s Health For services to women’s health
Professor Kamaldeep Singh Bhui, Professor of Cultural Psychiatry and Epidemiology, Queen Mary’s University of London For services to mental health research and care
Professor Jack Martin Cuzick, Director, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and Head, Centre for Cancer Prevention For services to cancer prevention and screening
Michael Patrick Pragnell, Chairman, Cancer Research UK For services to cancer research
Mrs Helena Rebecca Herklots, Chief Executive, Carers UK For services to carers

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Dr Lorna McLeod Williamson, Lately Director of NHS Blood and Transplant For services to the advancement of blood, tissue and stem cell donations
Ms Gail Adams, Head of Nursing, UNISON For services to nursing and public healthcare
Professor Ghulam Jeelani Mufti, Professor of Haemato-oncology, School of Medicine, King’s College London For services to haematological medicine
Professor Deborah Ann Sturdy, Nurse Adviser, Care England For services to older people, dementia care and nursing
Professor Keri Vivien Thomas, Founder and National Clinical Lead, The National Gold Standards Framework Centre in End of Life Care For services to end of life care
Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Head of Maternity, NHS England For services to midwifery
Mrs Ailsa Margaret Rutter, Director, FRESH Smoke-free North East For services to tobacco control
Professor Rachel Anne Munton, Lately Managing Director, East Midlands Academic Health Science Network For services to healthcare
Mrs Lynda Ann Bonner, Founder, National Nursing and Midwifery Nursing Network For services to the treatment of venous thromboembolism
Ms Sarah Elizabeth Brennan, Chief Executive, Young Minds For services to children and young people’s mental health
Professor Gene Solomon Feder, General Practitioner, Helios Medical Centre, Bristol and Professor of Primary Care, University of Bristol For services to healthcare and victims of domestic abuse
Mrs Jane Ann Gray, Consultant Nurse For services to homeless and vulnerable people in the Midlands
Mrs Christine Janette Craik, Director of Occupational Therapy, Brunel University For services to occupational therapy, particularly mental health services and education
Ms Alison Sarah Baum, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Best Beginnings For services to tackling child health inequalities
Ms Rosalind Margaret Alstead, Director of Nursing and Clinical Standards, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust For services to nursing
Ms Susan Baker, Director, Time to Change For services to mental health
Mr Terry Arthur Dafter, Lately Director of Adult Social Care at Stockport Council For services to children’s and adult social care
Mr Alexander Clive Fox, Chief Executive Officer, Shared Lives Plus For services to social care
Mrs Bernie Ryan, Directorate Manager, St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Manchester For services to supporting people affected by sexual assault

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Ms Jacqueline Dyer, Vice-Chair, NHS Mental Health Taskforce For services to mental health
Mr Kenneth Hoskisson, Chair, The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust For services to the NHS and voluntary service to end of life patients
Professor Elizabeth Jane Kay, Associate Dean for Equality and Inclusion and Foundation Dean Peninsula Dental School For services to dental education
Dr Stuart Glynn Wood, Head of Music Therapy, Barchester Healthcare For services to music therapy and care
Mr Philip Neil Large, Chair, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust For services to healthcare
Dr Victoria Ann Goodwin, Senior Research Fellow, University of Exeter For services to physiotherapy
Professor Deborah Bowman, Professor of Medical Ethics, St George’s, University of London For services to medical ethics
Professor Miranda Rachel Wolpert, Founder, Evidence Based Practice Unit, AFNCCF and UCL and Co-Founder, the Child Outcomes Research Consortium For services to child and adolescent mental healthcare
Mrs Sylvia Ingrid Morris, Founder and Chair of Karen Morris Memorial Trust, Cambridgeshire For services to leukaemia patients and their families
Mr David Wilkinson, Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Postgraduate Dean, Health Education England, Yorkshire For services to the NHS
Mr Richard James Delderfield, Honorary President, Bloodwise For services to leukaemia and lymphoma research
Dr Howard James Leicester For services to improving patient services in the NHS
Dr Anthony Hill, Lately Director of Public Health, Lincolnshire County Council and NHS Lincolnshire For services to public health
Miss Sarah Marianne Murray, Senior Lecturer, Head of Centre and Programme Lead, Institute of Dentistry, Queens Mary University of London For services to oral health
Ms Rachel Isabel Griffiths, Mental Capacity Act lead, Care Quality Commission For services to vulnerable people
Dr David Michael Hegarty, Chair, Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group and Chair of West Midlands Clinical Senate For services to primary care
Dr Peter Dickson, Principal in General Practice and Senior Policy Adviser, National Clinical Assessment Service For services to primary care and the National Clinical Assessment Service
Dr Premila Nalini Webster, Director of Public Health Education and Training, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford For services to public health
Dr Helen Jayne Livingstone, Specialist Palliative Care Consultant, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust For services to the care of end of life healthcare
Mrs Anne Judith Jolly, Founder and Manager, Sudden Adult Death Trust UK For services to raising awareness of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome
Mr Jonathan Bernard Benjamin For service to national campaigning on awareness of suicide and mental illness
Professor Andrew John Timothy George, Chair, Hammersmith Hospital Research Ethics Committee For services to research participants and the ethical governance of clinical research
Mrs Jennifer Cooke For services to supporting people with neuro-disabilities
Mrs Tessa Mary Morrish, Chair, Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Appeal, North Hampshire and Cystic Fibrosis Care, Frimley Park Hospital Surrey For services to people with cystic fibrosis
Mrs Claire Lomas For charitable and voluntary services to spinal injury research
Ms Gillian Joan Adele Palmer, Founder, Marie Collins Foundation For services to abused children
Mrs Susan Mary Farrington Smith, Chief Executive, Brain Tumour Research For services to brain tumours research and awareness raising
Mr Frank Stansil, Fundraiser, King’s College Hospital Charity For services to health charities

Medalist of the Order of the British Empire (BME)

Mrs Elizabeth Wilson Robinson, Bereavement Manager, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust For services to healthcare
Mr Mark Kenneth Smith, Founder, Ryan Smith Foundation For services to supporting people with brain injuries and their families
Professor Peter Andrew Heasman, Volunteer Member, NHS Research Ethics Committees For services to providing ethical review and support to researchers
Mrs Jean Evelyn Huggan, Volunteer, Milton Keynes Bereavement Service, Buckinghamshire For services to bereaved families
Dr Siow Yen Andersen, Safeguarding Lead, North Leeds For services to safeguarding children and prevention of domestic violence in north Leeds
Mrs Louise Stephanie Ellis, Chair, Hampstead, Research Ethics Committee, Health Research Authority For services to the research ethics service
Mrs Tracy Foster, Play Specialist, Paediatric Burns Service, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals For services to children with severe burns in Yorkshire
Mr Siraaj-UI-Haq Nadat, Senior Quality of Life Facilitator, Changing Our Lives For services to people with disabilities in the west Midlands
Mr Hamish Murray Andrew Elvidge, Founder, The Matthew Elvidge Trust For services to suicide prevention and bereavement support
Mr Devan Alexander William Witter, Founder, Devan Group, East Yorkshire For services to children’s mental healthcare and wellbeing
Miss Brenda Clark, Founder, Youth Cancer Trust Charity For services to children with cancer

Queen’s Ambulance Medal

Robert Glyn Williams Former Chief Executive, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Paul Albert Smith Sector Delivery Manager, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Nigel Rees Head of Research and Innovation, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
Andrew Challenger Senior Education and Development Lead, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

News story: Health of the ‘baby boomer’ generation

8 December 2016, 9:41 am

In her annual report on the state of the public’s health, ‘Baby Boomers: Fit for the Future’, Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, focuses on the health of people aged between 50 and 70.

It considers topics such as the impact of lifestyle choices on current and future health, mental health, sexual health, and screening and immunisation programmes.

Professor Sally Davies said:

People are living longer than ever and so retirement presents a real opportunity for baby boomers to be more active than ever before. For many people it is a chance to take on new challenges, it is certainly not the start of a slower pace of life it once was.

Staying in work, volunteering or joining a community group can make sure people stay physically and mentally active for longer. The health benefits of this cannot be overestimated.

CMO outlines the opportunities baby boomers have to improve their health: 45% of the disease burden in this age group is attributable to lifestyle choices (for example, poor diet, smoking, being overweight)

By 2020 estimates show that a third of British workers will be aged over 50.

More than 75% of people aged between 50 and pension age are still in active employment, 12% of those older than pension age are also still working.

More women now work too: women now represent 46% of the workforce compared with 30%.

Findings from the report include:

Health and work

The report finds that good quality work is good for baby boomers’ health and that employers have a role to play by helping their staff to remain healthy enough to stay in employment

We’re currently seeking views on how the government can help everyone to be able to enjoy the independence, security and good health that being in work can bring.

Mental health

The mental health needs of baby boomers are substantial in many respects, with 18% reported to have depression or anxiety disorder. This is twice the proportion in the generation born before 1945. Men around the age of 50 have the highest suicide rate of all age groups.

Sexual health

Baby boomers are sexually active but some are experiencing problems with sexual function. Health professionals can give advice.

Speech: Recognising and understanding carers’ rights

25 November 2016, 10:36 am

Today is Carers’ Rights Day, when thousands of organisations across the country help carers to find out about and understand their rights and what support they can access. The event is led by Carers UK and supported by carers’ charities and organisations, big and small.

Carers make an enormous contribution to our health and care system and to our society, and the selfless way that millions of carers provide care and support of all kinds to their friends and relatives deserves special appreciation. Since the implementation of the Care Act in 2015, carers have more rights than ever before. The Act gave carers parity with the people they care for through new entitlements to an assessment of their needs, support to meet their eligible needs, and information and advice. We know there is much to do to embed good practice and raise awareness of carers’ rights, and make sure carers know where to go for help and feel able to ask for it. That is what Carers’ Rights Day is all about.

However, there has also been great progress since the Act and we can continue to be positive about its potential for carers. We will be looking at how to consolidate and spread best practice as part of the forthcoming carers’ strategy, which is being developed now. The new strategy for carers will also look beyond what statutory services can do, to a vision of a more carer-friendly society where carers are supported in all kinds of settings to care well whilst maintaining a life of their own.

Carers Rights Day is a great opportunity to recognise all that carers do: throughout the country there will be people holding events in their communities and workplaces to raise awareness of caring and rights for carers. Earlier this week, at a reception held by Carers UK, I heard about the great work that many organisations are already doing across the country to support carers. There is so much going on that we can build on.

Today, for example, sees the launch of Aviva UK’s WeCare pilot in Bristol to support carers in the workplace. Working with the Department of Work and Pensions, the Department of Health, the Positive Ageing Company (part of Mercer Consulting), Age UK and the Carers UK’s business forum Employers for Carers, Aviva has designed a plan of new measures to support carers in its workforce, including:

  • carers’ leave
  • line manager training
  • online information resources to support carers at work
  • access to a digital health, wellbeing and eldercare platform to support employees and their families

We know that many people who are caring struggle to balance the demands of their caring role with work, and new research shows that it takes just 10 hours of caring per week to make it a real challenge for people to stay in employment whilst caring for a loved one. This initiative from Aviva highlights a growing awareness among employers, large and small, that it is everyone’s responsibility to support carers. It is in employers’ interests – as well as employees’ – to have an open dialogue about the increasing numbers of us who are caring for our friends and relatives, support carers however possible, retain staff and have a happier workforce as a result.

I would encourage everyone to think this Carers Rights Day about a carer they might know, and what they can do to support them, be it personally or in the workplace or wider community. You can find out more about Carers’ Rights Day and rights for carers on the Carers UK website, and more about how to be a carer-friendly employer on the Employers for Carers website.

Press release: Education Secretary announces extra investment in social care

3 November 2016, 4:13 pm

In her first speech to the social care profession, Education Secretary Justine Greening today (3 November 2016) set out her vision for giving vulnerable children the best possible chance of a successful future.

Children within the social care system are much more likely to be locked out from opportunities that would allow them to thrive, and this government is determined to address this by investing properly in the professionals who care for them.

The Education Secretary announced an additional £4.7 million investment in the teaching partnership programme, aimed at improving the education and training of social workers in 11 new areas across the country. She also invited local authorities to nominate talented senior social workers to join the new Practice Leader Development programme.

Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening said:

This government wants a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. Just as we need a world-class education system that works for everyone, so too we need a world-class children’s social care system that ensures the best start possible for every child.

Speaking after the Education Secretary, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families Edward Timpson announced a new opportunity to bid to the £200 million Innovation Programme, to pilot new, creative approaches to supporting vulnerable children. The Innovation programme aims to give local services opportunities to try out new ways of supporting children and their families, empowering professionals on the ground to redesign how they work so they get the best outcomes for those they look after.

Since its launch, this fund has already supported over 50 projects in England. This includes the Mockingbird Family Model which helps connect vulnerable children to give them a sense of extended family and community, as well as NIS Keep Standard which provides training for carers to help them gain the skills needed to deal with difficult children. Results so far show positive changes in behaviour.

The teaching partnership programme, jointly funded with the Department of Health, aims to raise the standard of social workers – both those new to the profession as well those already in practice – by driving up the quality of teaching, learning and development throughout their career.

Minister for Community Health and Care, David Mowat said:

We want to support social workers to ensure they have the best training and skills. The Teaching Partnerships programme will not only increase opportunities for good quality placements, coaching, mentoring and supervision for social workers, they also involve people with lived experiences.

Speaking at the annual National Children and Adult Services Conference, the Secretary of State for Education also confirmed that additional money will be invested in some of the more successful projects from the first phase of the Innovation programme. This will help to build on the evidence base of what works in children’s social work.

The projects include:

  • Positive Choices in Calderdale – which offers intensive support for high risk young people in the local area
  • Pause – which helps to break the cycle of children being removed from care among women at risk of repeat removals
  • Frontline – which is being backed to scale-up its Firstline leadership development programme, which will support over 400 social work managers across the country.

Pause CEO, Sophie Humphreys, said:

Pause works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeated pregnancies that result in children being removed from their care. Our programme gives them the chance to take control of their lives, preventing further costs to themselves, society and the taxpayer. In the next few weeks Pause will be setting out details of its next stage of development which, thanks to further funding from the Department for Education, is now possible.

The announcements today are all part of the government’s drive to improve outcomes for children and families in new ways and is at the heart of the Children and Social Work Bill, which proposes introducing new powers for local authorities to test different ways of working.

Notes for editors

  1. Read the Innovation programme evaluation reports.
  2. Find out more about the Innovation programme, including details on how to get involved in the next phase.

DfE enquiries

Central newsdesk
020 7783 8300

General enquiries
0370 000 2288

News story: Listening to people with dementia and their carers

2 November 2016, 12:52 pm

The Department of Health’s listening programme will include different ways of gathering people’s views and experiences, both in person and online.

The first part of this work is an online survey for people who have been diagnosed with dementia in the past 2 years (since November 2014), and people who provide unpaid care for them. The survey, which is open until 31 January 2017, asks about people’s experiences of dementia diagnosis, support and awareness. It has been produced in consultation with people with dementia, their carers and our partner organisations.

As well as the online survey, local dementia groups will be able to discuss the questions in groups or one to one and feed the results back to the department. To help with this, we have published guidance on holding discussions with people with dementia and carers. We want to make sure that we hear from as many people as possible, particularly those from diverse communities and those whose voices aren’t often heard. We will be organising specific discussion groups with these communities.

This survey, and our future plans for the programme, will help us to assess what difference the Dementia Challenge 2020 Implementation Plan is having and where further improvements to the delivery of services and support may be needed at a local level.

The programme’s scope will cover the 5 main themes in the Implementation Plan:

  • health and care
  • risk reduction
  • dementia awareness and social action
  • research
  • continuing the UK’s global leadership role

We’ll use the feedback, data and information that we gather to inform the formal review of the Implementation Plan in 2018.

If you would like us to email you about government work on dementia, sign up for dementia updates.

News story: Plan to reduce health and care red tape burden

28 September 2016, 10:43 am

Minister for Health Lord Prior is setting up the Burden Reduction Challenge Panel in partnership with NHS Providers, NHS Confederation and Care England.

The panel will look at evidence of both the burdens and benefits of current NHS and social care regulatory activity and will then challenge their use and necessity. Regulatory activity judged to be unnecessary by the panel and relevant officials will be amended or removed.

The organisations will engage health professionals to provide evidence that will feed into the panel. The panel’s first session will focus on data and information requests, at both national and local level.

Lord Prior said:

To address fundamentally the burden of red tape across health and social care, we need to look through the lens of those on the frontline. We will make changes to deliver tangible benefits for both staff and patients.

The panel represents a commitment by all members to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on front line staff, increasing focus on patient contact and care.

Panel members will include senior figures from the Department of Health, its arm’s length bodies, and membership organisations.

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News story: Help for people with learning disabilities to live independently

15 September 2016, 10:19 am

The funding will allow the creation of a range of housing and technology options for people with learning disabilities. This could include floor sensors to monitor for falls or finger-print technology to make access as easy as possible for residents.

Local authorities, working with local community partners such as voluntary organisations, have until 28 October to apply for a share of the funds.

The main aims of the fund are to:

  • use new technologies to improve and adapt existing accommodation, enabling people to remain living independently
  • prevent unnecessary in-patient admissions
  • provide solutions for people who require urgent housing and are at risk of entering inappropriate services like hospital or residential care
  • encourage community-based solutions that promote independence and choice over housing
  • save money and resources – specially adapted housing reduces the need for costly hands-on care

David Mowat, Minister for Community Health and Care, said:

The government is determined to improve the life chances of people with learning disabilities, and to make sure they never feel excluded from society. We want to harness all the benefits of technology to help achieve this.

I hope this investment of £25 million will inspire many exciting and innovative projects which will make a hugely positive difference to people’s lives.

Only 15% of adults with learning disabilities have a secure long-term tenancy or their own home. The fund will enable more people to live as independently as possible with the best care and support, greatly improving their quality of life.

Alicia Wood, Chief Executive of Learning Disability England, said:

Learning Disability England welcomes this £25 million fund to help create housing solutions for people with learning disabilities. We know that a lack of housing choices for people with learning disabilities is only partly down to the need for capital, and what stops people and their families getting the solutions they want is a lack of creative thinking.

We are particularly pleased that the fund is being used to promote person-centred solutions and create new models of housing and support that give people with learning disabilities a real stake in their communities.

This £25 million fund builds on £20 million already earmarked by NHS England as part of its Transforming Care programme. This will be used for schemes across the country from April 2016 to March 2017, including new housing and services.

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News story: Government announces successful bids to £15 million mental health fund

23 August 2016, 10:23 am

Forty-one projects will benefit from a share of £15 million to improve provision of mental health places of safety, the government announced today.

The Department of Health funding is supporting the creation of new places of safety and the refurbishment of existing sites, to prevent people experiencing a mental health crisis, who have committed no crime, from being placed in a police cell.

The government wants to see an end to the unacceptable situation in which hundreds of people in crisis are being locked up in police cells each year because health services are not available in time. When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis they need the right care, in the right place and too often the only safe place available is a police cell – somewhere which often exacerbates the crisis.

The first wave of bids, totalling £6.1 million, have been awarded to 15 NHS trusts and partnership organisations covering 11 police force areas. They have been focused where use of police cells as a place of safety has previously been amongst the highest in the country.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

This government is committed to ending the scandal of people in crisis being locked up in police cells.

When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis they need the right care, in the right place and at the right time. We are fully committed to improving mental health services across the country and these projects will help support people at a crucial time.

The full list of successful wave one bids covers Avon and Somerset, Cleveland, Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, Essex, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, Sussex, West Yorkshire, and Wiltshire police force areas. Projects include new section 136 suites, crisis cafés, triage vehicles and places of safety for children and young people.

The government has also opened the bidding process for the remaining £8.9 million of funding to the rest of England. Through local Crisis Care Concordat groups, organisations including mental health trusts, clinical commissioning groups, police forces, local authorities and the voluntary and community sector can bid for the funding.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:

We have seen good progress on our manifesto commitment to reduce the use of cells, with numbers dropping by 32 per cent across England and Wales in just one year. But there is still more to do, and the 41 projects announced today will provide vital facilities for those in crisis to ensure they get the compassionate care and support they need.

The police should never be the default response for someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

And we are going further, bringing important changes to legislation through the Policing and Crime Bill to ensure that police cells are only used as a place of safety for adults in exceptional circumstances, and will ban their use altogether for under 18s.

The funding can be used for:

  • refurbishments or improvements to existing health-based places of safety, for example to increase capacity
  • building new places of safety
  • making existing places of safety suitable for use for people aged 18 and under
  • creating mental health crisis cafés or places of calm
  • ambulances for transportation to places of safety to ensure a police car is not used
  • vehicles for mobile street triage services for responding to mental health crises in the community

Wave one successful bidders

Types of facilities proposed Where Total cost Organisation(s) leading the scheme
A new 4 bed health-based place of safety for use across the county Avon and Wiltshire £320,000 Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust
A place of calm for children and young people Barnsley £23,500 Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group
A crisis safe space and section 136 suite for adults, young people and children at Millview Hospital Brighton and Hove £223,500 Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
A new adult health-based place of safety and crisis vehicles for driving vulnerable people across the East Midlands Derbyshire £695,000 Derby and Derbyshire Crisis Care Concordat group
A new health-based place of safety for children and young people at Torbay hospital; a new health-based place of safety for adults in Exeter; a safe place within the existing paediatric ward at Torbay hospital’s accident and emergency department; integrating children’s services into early help bases Devon, Torbay and Plymouth £555,000 Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust; Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Urgent mental health care lounges in Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Woodlands Centre for Psychiatry in Hastings East Sussex £190,000 Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Upgrading health-based places of safety across 6 Essex locations including Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow and Rochford Essex £818,500 North & South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trusts
A new psychiatric decision making unit; a rapid response vehicle for street triage; a new child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) section 136 suite Lincolnshire £406,000 Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
A new crisis house offering short stay support in a safe and supportive environment for people in crisis North Somerset £500,000 Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust
A crisis café; a new psychiatric decision making unit; refurbishment to an existing health-based place of safety in Nottingham; street triage vehicles for use across the East Midlands Nottingham £586,000 Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust; East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
A new place of safety for children and young people; a new mental health assessment suite at the Northern General Hospital; refurbishment to the existing adult place of safety at Fulwood House in Sheffield; crisis café for young people Sheffield £467,000 Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust; Sheffield Futures (charity)
Mental health urgent care base covering Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Cleveland and Stockton on Tees Teesside £674,000 Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
A street triage vehicle to operate across West Sussex; a new place of safety and de-escalation facility for children and young people; new crisis café in Bognor Regis; refurbishments to improve access to mental health support at Worthing General Hospital, St Richards General Hospital and Langley Green Hospital West Sussex £223,000 Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
A new safe space in Wakefield for people for people in crisis; rebuilding a health-based place of safety in Kirklees; street triage vehicle to operate across West Yorkshire; improvements to mental health crisis liaison facilities for children and young people across Wakefield , Kirklees and Leeds West Yorkshire £422,000 South West Yorkshire Partnerships Foundation Trust; Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

News story: Carey Mulligan aims to change global attitudes towards dementia

16 August 2016, 7:28 am

In her new role, Carey will bring both international attention to the benefits of making communities dementia friendly, and a renewed focus on the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme in England.

To mark the announcement, Carey spent time with Health Minister Jeremy Hunt at Heathrow Airport, which is working towards becoming the world’s first dementia friendly airport, to lead a Dementia Friends training session for the airport’s staff. She set out the UK’s role as a global leader in dementia and outlined her plans to champion the rights of people with dementia across the world.

The airport provides a personalised customer journey for passengers with dementia where in advance of their flight they can take part in a virtual 360 degree tour of their journey and are provided with quiet and therapeutic areas in the airport to wait in. Heathrow has also pledged for all 76,000 customer-facing staff to be dementia-aware, through Dementia Friends sessions, training and online resources.

Carey aims to inspire and engage world leaders to tackle stigma and promote understanding of dementia, a condition that her grandmother, Nans, lives with. Her first action in her new role will be marking World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September by delivering a Dementia Friends session to a youth group in Los Angeles to spread greater awareness among young people about the condition.

Carey Mulligan said:

My Nans has dementia and I have experienced first-hand how devastating it can be. It affects everyone differently, and it’s so important that everyone affected by the condition is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. At the moment, there’s not nearly enough awareness and as a global society we have a duty to change that.

The first step involves educating people and breaking down stigma – not just on our doorstep, but across the world. I’ve seen my mum doing this in her role as a Dementia Friends Champion – now I’m honoured to become the first Global Dementia Friends Ambassador and help Alzheimer’s Society and the government change global attitudes towards dementia.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said:

We have made great strides in improving diagnosis rates, investing in research and creating the first dementia friendly communities, but we still have much further to go to promise everyone that they will be able to live well with the condition.

The impact of dementia tears at families and at our social fabric – that’s why making progress is a key government priority. Carey Mulligan will be a great asset both in raising awareness and promoting the benefits of the Dementia Friends programme – at home and globally.

The announcement of Carey Mulligan’s new role comes as the government launches its new Dementia Atlas. This interactive map of England allows people to make comparisons about the quality of dementia care in their area, on issues such as prevention, diagnosis and support.

This week also sees the launch of the new NHS Health Check Dementia Pilots. Public Health England is working with Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society to extend the dementia risk reduction component of the NHS Health Check to all 40-64-year-olds at sites in Birmingham, Bury, Manchester City and Southampton City. This will see over 250 GP practices raising awareness about dementia risk reduction among people in midlife as part of the health check for the first time.

Since 2013, over 1.6 million people have signed up to become a Dementia Friend, and there are now more than 150 dementia friendly communities in England alone. The Alzheimer’s Society hopes to achieve 4 million Dementia Friends by 2020. The main aims of the programme are to tackle the stigma around dementia that results in people feeling excluded from their communities and improve the lives of those with the condition and their families.

News story: Department of Health ministerial responsibilities

21 July 2016, 4:09 pm

As Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt is in charge of all areas of health policy with a particular focus on overall financial control and oversight of all NHS delivery and performance. The Secretary of State will also lead on all aspects of mental health, championing patient safety and driving forward the Prime Minister’s agenda.

Philip Dunne joins the Department as Minister of State for Health. His brief includes overseeing all aspects of hospital care, NHS performance and operations, the workforce, patient safety and maternity care.

Nicola Blackwood is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Innovation. She will lead on all aspects of public health and health protection as well as technology, life sciences innovation, and data.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Community Health and Care is David Mowat. His brief includes adult social care, carers, community services, cancer, dementia, learning disabilities and all elements of primary care – including dentistry and pharmacy.

Lord Prior remains at the Department as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, covering all aspects of health in the House of Lords. His brief also includes leading on drugs spending, life sciences industry, NHS and EU issues, NHS commercial issues, and blood and transplants.

News story: Increased mental health services for those arrested

13 July 2016, 3:39 pm

The funding will see a roll out of liaison and diversion services in police custody suites and criminal courts across England.

Currently, 50,000 people a year are assessed by liaison and diversion services following arrest, and almost 70% require mental health support. This new funding will extend NHS England liaison and diversion services from 50% population coverage to 75% by 2018.

This money will help people with mental ill health, learning disabilities or autism get the right care in the right place, supporting work between the police and the NHS.

Liaison and diversion services can help ensure fair access to justice, limit the number of court hearings, and avoid costly adjournments and periods on remand. Where appropriate, vulnerable people can be diverted away from the criminal justice system into treatment and care.

Mental health minister Alistair Burt said:

We have made monumental strides in the way we think about and treat mental illness in this country in the last few decades – but people with a mental illness, learning disabilities or autism still need support when they come into contact with the criminal justice system.

Expanding the successful liaison and diversion scheme will help make sure these factors are taken into account so more vulnerable people have their needs considered.

The next 2 years will see the service expanded to cover all major urban areas, securing services in the areas of most need. This will build on the successful roll-out of services over the last 2 years that have identified and assessed over 71,000 vulnerable adults, children and young people. Subject to evaluation, full roll out should be achieved by 2020.

Statement to Parliament: Review of health and care data security and consent

6 July 2016, 12:19 pm

Today 2 independent reviews have been published which make recommendations about data security in the health and care system in England and a new consent/opt-out model for data sharing.

In September 2015, I commissioned the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to undertake a review of data security in the NHS and, in parallel, commissioned Dame Fiona Caldicott, the National Data Guardian for Health and Care (NDG), to undertake an independent review of data security and consent, with the purpose of:

  • developing new data security standards
  • devising a method of testing compliance with the new standards
  • proposing a new consent/opt-out model for data sharing in health and social care

Both independent reviews have been completed and the full reports, the NDG Review of data security, consent and opt-outs and the CQC review, Safe data, safe care, are available.

A digital NHS

Healthcare, like all areas of modern life, is rapidly going digital. New technology and innovative approaches to health and care have already made significant progress, resulting in more people surviving the devastating effects of life-threatening and debilitating illnesses. If we are to achieve our ambition to deliver the safest, most efficient healthcare possible for NHS patients, we must make the most of this digital information revolution, moving away from reliance on paper record keeping towards a 21st century, fully digital NHS, in which GP, pharmacy and hospital records, as well as diagnosis and condition monitoring, are all based on digital platforms.

As the health and social care system becomes increasingly paperless and digital it also becomes ever more important that there are adequate and robust protections in place to protect the data and information held within it. All health and care organisations that handle sensitive information should be working towards giving patients the highest levels of trust and confidence and reducing the risk of external threats and potential breaches. It is vital that we do all that we can to ensure that health and care staff have access to the safeguards, knowledge and capability to handle such information securely.

The technological revolution in health and care has benefited individuals, their families, friends and the country at large. But it would not have happened without a significant change in the availability and quality of digital health and care data and greater innovation in how that information is used. To achieve our ambition of a fully digital NHS, it is vital that the public trusts health and care staff to keep their personal data safe and secure.

Trust and data sharing

Dame Fiona’s review found that, broadly, the public does trust the NHS with confidential data. However, we cannot be complacent. That’s why we want to do more to realise the benefits that come from sharing information safely and consistently across the health and care system where there is a legitimate reason for doing so. For example, by giving patients more access to, and control over, the use of their personal confidential information, by improving the way that the NHS uses information to check the quality of care, or by researchers being able to use data to improve treatment and care.

Dame Fiona Caldicott has proposed 10 security standards to be applied in every health and care organisation that handles personal confidential information. These include measures which will protect systems against data breaches, ensuring that NHS leadership takes ownership and responsibility for data security and ensuring that organisations are as prepared as they can be to meet the challenges of the digital age. Dame Fiona has also emphasised the vital importance of data sharing and is proposing a new consent/opt-out model, which will give people a less complex choice about how their personal confidential information is used.

Consulting on data security

I am grateful to Dame Fiona and the CQC for their work on this important agenda. I am today publishing a consultation on 2 main aspects of Dame Fiona’s independent review, namely the new data security standards and proposed consent/opt-out model. It is vital that a full consultation and dialogue with the public and professionals takes place before any implementation of the recommendations can take place.

I am also publishing today the government response to the consultation carried out late last year into the role of the National Data Guardian for Health and Care. The response sets out the government’s key decisions in relation to the proposed functions for the role, and we remain committed to placing the role on a statutory footing at the next available opportunity.

Data protection

In her review, Dame Fiona emphasises the importance of protecting anonymised data to give the public the assurances they need that they will not be re-identified. I can confirm today that the government is supportive of the introduction of stronger criminal sanctions against those who use anonymised data to re-identify individuals.

On data security, both reviews highlight the importance of removing outdated IT systems. We are working with suppliers, including Microsoft, to help health and care organisations update their systems to make sure they are safe to use and store data. NHS Digital (previously HSCIC) will launch an initiative to support this work later this year.

The National Data Guardian Review also recommends that the government consider the future of the programme, as the consent and opt-out model proposed by the review goes further than the approach that was planned for and its pathfinder areas.

In light of Dame Fiona’s recommendations, NHS England has taken the decision to close the programme. However, the government and the health and care system remain absolutely committed to realising the benefits of sharing information, as an essential part of improving outcomes for patients. Therefore this work will now be taken forward by the National Information Board, in close collaboration with the primary care community, in order to retain public confidence and to drive better care for patients.

News story: Queen’s Birthday Honours 2016: health and social care services

13 June 2016, 4:57 pm

People from across the health and care community have been acknowledged for their service in the latest Queen’s Birthday Honours awards.

Knights Bachelor: Knighthoods

Professor John Stanley Strang Professor in the Psychiatry of the Addictions and Director, National Addiction Centre, King’s College London. For services to medicine, addictions and public health.
Professor Douglas Matthew Turnbull Professor of Neurology, Newcastle University. For services to health care research and treatment, particularly mitochondrial disease.

Order of the Bath: Companions of the Order of the Bath

Professor Yvonne Gabrielle Doyle Director For London, Public Health England. For services to public health.

Order of the British Empire: Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

Dr Cheryll Mary Adams Founding Director, Institute of Health Visiting. For services to health visiting.
Professor Martin Gore Consultant Cancer Physician and Medical Director, Royal Marsden Hospital. For services to oncology.
Professor Peter Johnson Professor of Medical Oncology, University of Southampton. For services to medicine and higher education.
Catherine Elizabeth Johnstone Lately Chief Executive, Samaritans. For services to suicide prevention.
Professor Peter McGuffin Clinical Psychiatrist, King’s College London. For services to biomedical research and psychiatric genetics.
Professor Ann Patricia Moore Lately Head, Centre for Health Research and Professor of Physiotherapy, University of Brighton. For services to physiotherapy.
David Charles Pearson Corporate Director, Adult Social Care, Health and Public Protection, Nottinghamshire County Council. For services to adult social care.
Jane Rintoul Deputy Director, Department of Health. For services to health and care.
Professor Jane Sandall Professor of Women’s Health, King’s College London. For services to midwifery and women’s health.
Penelope Jane Snell Vice President, National Gardens Scheme. For services to the voluntary sector supporting nursing and healthcare.
Bridget Warr Chief Executive, United Kingdom Home Care Association. For services to social care and the voluntary sector.
Michael Anthony Wilson Chief Executive, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. For services to the NHS.

Order of the British Empire: Officers of the Order of the British Empire

Dr Alan Matthew Borthwick Chair, Medicines Committee, College of Podiatry. For services to health and health research.
Professor Ivan Eisler Professor of Family Psychology and Family Therapy, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. For services to family therapy.
Richard Mark Evans Chief Executive Officer, Society and College of Radiographers. For services to radiography.
Professor Celia Moss Consultant in Paediatric Dermatology, Birmingham Children’s Hospital. For services to paediatric dermatology.
Gweneth Jean Moulster Co-chair, UK Nurse Consultants in Learning Disability Network. For services to nursing and people with learning disabilities.
Stephen Michael Mycio Chair, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For voluntary and charitable services to health and wellbeing in Manchester.
Professor Ian Gerrard Peate Visiting Professor, St George’s, University of London and Kingston University and Head of School of Health Studies, Gibraltar. For services to nursing and nurse education.
(Trevor) John Pelly Lately Chief Executive, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. For services to the NHS.
Bhanu Ramaswamy Independent Physiotherapy Consultant. For services to physiotherapy.
Professor Deborah Janette Sharp Professor of Primary Health Care, University of Bristol. For services to primary care.
Dr David Shiers Clinical Adviser, National Audit of Schizophrenia. For services to vulnerable people.
Pauline Watts Head Nurse, Quality, Mental Health, Learning Disability and Dementia, Public Health England. For services to nursing and health visiting.
Dr Ingrid Wolfe (Ingrid Horton) Director, Evelina London Child Health Programme. For services to child health and care.

Order of the British Empire: Members of the Order of the British Empire

Deborah Alsina-Anderson Chief Executive, Bowel Cancer UK. For services to bowel cancer patients.
Stephen Robert Cannon Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Chair, Skeletal Cancer Action Trust. For services to orthopaedics.
Professor Angela Douglas Scientific Director, Regional Genetics Laboratory Services. For services to research and student mentoring.
Professor Vari Macdougal Drennan Professor of Healthcare and Policy Research, Kingston University and St George’s University of London. For services to health policy research, development and nursing.
Helen Christine Falcon Lead Postgraduate Dental Dean for England. For services to dental education.
Rosemary Gallagher Professional Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, Royal College of Nursing. For services to nursing, infection prevention and control.
Stephen Michael Harris Ambulance Motorcycle Paramedic, West Midlands Ambulance Service. For services to emergency care and voluntary service to the community in the West Midlands.
June Cynthia Hennell Dementia campaigner. For services to dementia care and dementia awareness.
Dr Peter Adrian Hindley Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Paediatric Liaison, St Thomas’s Hospital. For services to children and young people’s mental health.
Dr Miranda Clare Elizabeth Lomer Consultant Gastroenterology Dietitian, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. For services to dietetics and gastroenterology.
Dr Helen Margaret McKendrick General Practitioner and Founding Partner, Vauxhall Primary Health Care Practice, Liverpool. For services to general practice.
Fiona Doune Murphy Assistant Director of Bereavement and Organ Donation, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. For services to nursing, bereavement services and organ donation.
Dr Oladapo Adetokunbo Odumeru Regional Quality Assurance Manager, NHS Blood and Transplant. For services to black and minority ethnic blood donation communities.
Christian Raphael For services to people with complex and severe disabilities in the East of England.
Mohammed Akhlak Rauf Manager, Meri Yaadain (My Memories) Dementia Team, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. For services to people with dementia and their carers.
Dr Clifford Richards Lately GP Adviser and Clinical Lead, Cheshire and Merseyside. For services to healthcare.
Janet Elizabeth Rogers Member, Expert Reference Group on the Revision of the Mental Health Act Code of Practice. For service to mental health.
Emma Elizabeth Wylie Samuelson (Emma Samms) Co-founder, Starlight Children’s Foundation. For services to seriously and terminally ill children.
Dr Margaret Anne Talbot General Practitioner, Greater Manchester. For services to general practice.
Dr Peter Nicholas Trewby Consultant Physician in General Medicine and Gastroenterology, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. For services to medicine and medical education.
Francis Edward Ursell Chief Executive Officer, Registered Nursing Home Association. For services to the provision of care services.

Order of the British Empire: Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

Dawn Nova Clements For services to promoting polio immunisation.
Judith Dewinter Chair, Myeloma UK. For charitable and voluntary services to cancer research.
Lynne Jankowska Expert by Experience, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust. For services to care quality in mental health services.
Lesley Rowe Manager, Kingsgate Resource Centre for Older People. For services to older people in Camden.
Theresa Jane Wright For charitable services to Gosset Ward, Special Care Baby Unit, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust.

Queens Ambulance Medal

Alan Baranowski Associate Director Operations, Patient Transport Service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Carl Edward Keeble Community Paramedic, East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Jonathan Beausire Chief Ambulance Officer, Guernsey Ambulance Service.
Chris Sims Head of Service, Resilience and Specialist Operations, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.
Richard Lee Head of Clinical Services, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.
John Wright Assistant Director of Operations, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HSC Trust.

Looking for the latest Honours recipients? See the 2016 Birthday Honours list

News story: New funding for safe places for people in mental health crisis

7 May 2016, 11:15 pm

When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis they need care from healthcare professionals in the right place. Too often the only safe place available is a police cell, which can add to the person’s suffering. This £15 million fund will help to provide health and community based places of safety to prevent vulnerable people being held in police cells.

The funding can be used to:

  • refurbish or improve existing health-based places of safety, for example to increase capacity
  • build new places of safety
  • make existing places of safety suitable for people aged 18 and under
  • create mental health crisis cafes or places of calm
  • provide ambulance transport to places of safety (so a police car is not used)
  • provide vehicles for mobile services to respond to mental health crises in the community

Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, and Theresa May, Home Secretary, want to prevent people in crisis, who have committed no crime, from being held in a police cell because health services are not available in time.

Jeremy Hunt said:

Mental illness is not a crime – we want to end the scandal of people in crisis being unnecessarily locked up in a police cell. This funding will mean local areas can invest in creating safe places so people get the best support.

We have made monumental strides in the way we think about and treat mental illness in this country in the last few years, but we must accelerate progress even further. Our shared vision of a 7-day mental health service means people will get the care they need, when they need it.

Progress has already been made to decrease the use of police cells – there was a 32% reduction between April 2013 and March 2015. However, use of police cells still varies considerably across the country.

There are 23 priority areas, covering 10 police forces, where the use of police cells is amongst the highest. A joint letter from the Home Secretary and the Health Secretary is being sent to Crisis Care Concordat groups in these areas inviting them to bid for funding.

The 10 force areas, where the money will be targeted, are:

  • Avon and Somerset

  • Cleveland

  • Derbyshire

  • Devon and Cornwall

  • Essex

  • Lincolnshire

  • Nottinghamshire

  • South Yorkshire

  • Sussex

  • West Yorkshire

Theresa May said:

I have always been clear that people experiencing a mental health crisis should receive care and support rather than being held in a police cell.

While progress is being made, in some areas there is still a long way to go to improve outcomes for people with mental health needs.

This funding will ensure there are alternatives to police cells available right around the country because nobody wins when the police are sent to look after people experiencing a mental health crisis – vulnerable people don’t get the care they need and deserve, and the police can’t get on with the job they are trained to do.

Through local Crisis Care Concordat groups, organisations, including health trusts, local authorities and the third sector, are also able to bid for funding for new health based placed of safety.

A pilot, conducted by the Home Office and third-sector provider, the Richmond fellowship, in 2015 showed that, while traditionally places of safety have been health-based, there is the potential for third-party organisations to provide this care.

Speech: Future in Mind: 1 year on

16 March 2016, 1:13 pm

I want to offer my sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone in the audience today.

When I first came to the Department of Health, I wanted my priority to focus on the steady improvement of children’s mental health care, support the sector and bring in new and innovative ways of working – to improve care, to improve the way we work. It is down to your creativity, passion and drive that this priority was not only met but exceeded. So thank you.

Today, we’re at one of our most recognised sporting landmarks, one of the homes of English cricket. I would say ‘the home’ of English cricket, but I think my local club – Blunham Cricket Club – might snatch that title, holding the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous game of cricket; 105 hours, day and night. More impressive than 171 years of cricket play, I’m sure you’ll agree.

But the Oval is also home to one of Historic England’s newest Grade 2 buildings – the Victorian gasworks which overlooks the playing ground. It’s over 160 years old and will now stay intact – a part of the London skyline.

It’s worth thinking about what life was like for a child when the gasworks was built in 1847. Child labour was the norm – children as young as 10 would be sent up chimneys and sent down mines. Put simply, they were denied a childhood. It was only just before the 1900s that children’s mental health was considered a priority by society; young people’s mental health had always existed but it was a 20th century ‘invention’.

Fast forward to 2015: now children have access to education, they are protected from labour, they have their health needs met – children have a childhood. And yet their services still continue to improve.

Almost to the day, we saw the publication of ‘Future in Mind’. It called for a fundamental shift in culture for children and young people’s services, a whole system approach focusing on preventing mental ill health, early intervention and recovery.

You are a large part of this – perhaps the largest part of the solution. You make sure that, if a young person feels insecure, anxious, depressed or feels like they have nowhere to turn, they have a system that they can access, one that gives them the emotional support and mental wellbeing to get through their problems in the right place and the right time.

You’re all enthusiastic, dedicated and passionate people. This enthusiasm has been so important, because even with all of our advancements in care, your job has, often, not been the easiest.

Traditionally, you have been underfunded, under resourced, undervalued. There has been a huge data gap. You have had to deal with old prevalence data and, what’s more, there was no uniform detailed data about services. And the service has been difficult to improve – out of the 1 in 10 young people who have a diagnosable mental health condition, previous estimates state that only 1 in 4 are receiving treatment. Just more of the same is not an option available to us.

We are radically improving all of these aspects of your work, which is what I’m here to talk about today.
Since ‘Future in Mind’, we’ve had the all-age Mental Health Taskforce report, which brought this image in to further focus.

It showed us that care needs to be more widely available and people struggle to get the help they need at the right time. Also, despite all our efforts, stigma still is a stain we cannot yet wash off; many people still experience discrimination for the mental ill-health they experience through no fault of their own.

The recent Taskforce’s report put in place, for the first time, a national strategy designed in partnership across the health arm’s length bodies, for work across the system. This wasn’t a case of government deciding among itself what is best then setting the report loose among the sector. Not only does it draw on the experiences of sector leaders, it also focuses on the experiences of over 20,000 people who described the changes they wanted to see, so they could fulfil their ambitions and take their place as equal citizens in society.

And, of course, a huge part of this improvement lies in how we treat children’s mental health. When I met with the Youth Parliament’s Select Committee, they were concerned about this, too. They consulted hundreds of young people across the country and made 17 recommendations on how we could improve care. They wanted doctors to engage more with them and they also wanted to be a part of the solution.

I’m pleased that we have involved children and young people throughout our plans – they need to be included in the development of policy. And in many of the local transformation plans you delivered at the end of last year, it is clear that young people are being involved more than ever before.

Through the plans, every area has committed to working collaboratively to make radical improvements in children and young people’s mental health. Like in Lambeth, they are helping young people with eating disorders. They’re teaching young children about healthy lifestyles as they enter secondary school, they are giving parents more support to understand what their child with an eating disorder might be going through and they’re putting more support in schools, with specially trained nurses to help young people cope.

In Airedale, they are helping young women explain their experience in self-harming to the service through a theatre group. It helps the young people to share their experience in an empowering way, it helps often isolated young women to build friendships and it helps the local service improve the support they offer.

And in North Lincolnshire, they are helping some of the most marginalised children in society get the support they need. There is a unique service helping children in care, working alongside social workers and foster care, to make sure that they get access to the high-quality mental health care they had previously missed. Now, almost two-thirds of children in care have support from CAMHS.

This is exceptional, and shows not only the flexibility and ingenuity of the service but, also, that we continue to progress and improve care.

I am committed to making sure children and young people are given the opportunity to participate at every stage of the transformation programme and, of course, in every aspect of their own individual care. What I am concerned with is making sure that we continue that stride towards progress and we need to approach this in 2 distinct ways. We need to support the workforce and we need to support young people.

So, first, the workforce. Like I said, it’s no secret to anyone in this room that we have a high quality workforce.
Through Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme, we have spread the use of evidence-based practice.

However, despite the evident skills of each member of staff, young people are sometimes slow to come and seek you out. There are lots of reasons for this, but a large part of the trepidation comes from young people feeling like their needs won’t be understood. Perhaps they see the clinical setting at odds with their world, which is so focused on current culture and technology.

Increasingly, the world they live in is a digital one. On average, young people spend 27 hours a week online – a full extra day – so they are as much a part of their digital world as they are the physical one. Increasingly, their concerns are founded in this digital world – online bullying, self-confidence issues, feelings of isolation. Some of you may have seen the story recently of a boy of 14 who sent an indecent photo of himself to a girl over Snapchat. He was added to a police database and was warned that the information might be disclosed when he applies for jobs.

Even though that image only exists for a few second on the app, it will stay with him for a long time and there is no telling how this action would affect his mental health. Anyone admitting to something like this to their parents would be difficult, but admitting how that makes you feel to a relative stranger may fill him with great anxiety.

The opposite would be true, though. Many practitioners are well versed in popular culture and current technology. But we need to make sure that all staff have the right tools to keep up to date with young people.

Last year, I announced we were developing an expansion to the MindEd online learning resources, exploring the effect of the digital world on young people’s mental health. This was important to young people, as well as a main concern of the Youth Parliament and the Health Select Committee from 2014, who told us professionals do not always understand their digital world and that is was something we really need to do something about.

Today, we are launching that MindEd module. It includes information about digital risks to mental health, such as the effect of cyberbullying, online gaming, and the creation of online identities. It also helps professionals build digital resilience, by referring to relevant services and helping young people identify where the digital world ends and the real world begins. It’s designed – by the MindEd consortium and by Xenzone – for people who work with children.

But we also want to make sure that the service stays creative and cutting-edge. And how do we do this aside from new investment and improved training? We have said that just more of the same is not enough – and how do we get there?

We get there through innovation, which is why we worked with Health Education England to set up an innovation fund especially for the children and young people’s workforce. We were overwhelmed by both the number and quality of applications and are investing over £3 million in over 30 exciting projects that have local, regional or national reach.

The projects vary in size – but they are all unified by the fact they all will have an impact on young people’s lives. Like the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust in Reading, which supports young people with depression and their families. The award they received will help them increase its service to local schools, and provide early intervention and support for young people with mental health issues.

Or the Hearing Services department of Sheffield Children’s Hospital, who will use the award to transform early intervention for mental health and wellbeing for children and young people with difficulties such as hearing loss.
Or the Hampshire Children and Adult Mental Health Services, who will launch a new campaign called ‘Mind Your Head’, which involves taking health services out into the community, providing easy access for young people via a mobile health clinic.

These are impressive innovations, and I look forward to seeing how they impact people’s lives. But I also want to make the very mechanics of your job easier. There are still large parts of mental health care that, if explained to the general public, would shock them – of very basic things you need but are managing to work around.

Data is, perhaps, one of the biggest issues. I find it astonishing that you are able to do the good work you do with mental health prevalence data from a time before Facebook. So much in our society has changed since 2004.

But the lack of this basic information means that most planning you do around the level of need of your services is, at best, guess work. I want to put a stop to that, and make sure you have the data you need to work effectively.

We have commissioned a new national prevalence survey of children and young people’s mental health, the first since 2004. It will address that information gap extending to cover conditions and issues that have become more prominent since 2004, like eating disorders, self-harm and the impact of social media and cyberbullying.

The new survey will deliver much-needed information about children and young people’s current mental health – and about their need for mental health services – by summer 2018.

Which brings me on to my second and final point: giving more support directly to children and young people.

It’s been clear to me ever since starting this role, talking to more and more children and young people about their care, is that they want to be involved but, also, they want more control. I am pleased to say that we are now giving them that control.

Through a new online platform, called CO-OP, backed by £1 million of government funding, young people will be able to tell their story about their mental health history and host notes from the clinicians they encounter.
This will mean that whenever they meet a new health professional, young people can give them individual access to their mental health history and the professional will be able to continue that person’s care in the most effective way.

Young people will be in control of their data at every stage, and can agree exactly what to share, and with whom. Not only will young people give information to the platform, they will also have access to information about local mental health services and useful self-help apps.

This is an important point – about being in control of their story. When I met with the Youth Select Committee, they wanted to feel more supported to tell their story, a way of making young people more comfortable to be open and honest.

In light of this, the British Youth Council, the Association for Young People’s Health and Youth in Focus are working with us, PHE and NHS England to review the ‘You’re Welcome’ accreditation process and improve the standards. This was also something that the Youth Select Committee made clear to me, too, so we know it means a lot to young people.

Our review is seeking the views of young people and professionals about how services can best support conversations about mental health and other health concerns. I would encourage you all to be a part of this review – your opinions on this matter greatly.

By making our services more accessible and more friendly, we will go some way to tackling one of the biggest problems facing young people’s mental health – stigma.

All of us are striving towards a society where mental health disorders are understood and people can live without stigma. But, in spite of the 91,000 people who have signed up, through Time to Change, to end mental health stigma, it is still far too common.

We, too, are doing our best to tackle this. Last November we funded the largest ever anti stigma campaign for teenagers and the first for parents. Our initial evaluation indicated that the campaign exceeded reach targets and delivered evidence of intended and actual behaviour change.

Teenagers were more likely to talk to their friends about mental health and these attitudes improvements were seen in young men too – who are perhaps the hardest group to reach. This is really encouraging.

Parents, too, said they were more likely to talk to their children about mental health, especially dads. Winning this battle is so important; it is the biggest battle of them all.

We hope that we can continue this important work to change attitudes in a younger age group, so that for the next generation, the taboo of mental ill health is removed.

And, of course, all of you are a huge part of this fight. I have seen the value of your work, not only as a health minister, but as a local MP, too. You have achieved great things through the wide range of services you all represent in a relatively short space of time.

The future of our children and young people’s mental health service is down to you – your work, your dedication, your ingenuity and, of course, your passion for the job, for helping people.

I look forward to working alongside you to not only improve services for young people, to not only bring new and innovative ways of improving children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, but to also make generations of young people secure and happy.

News story: Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund: phase 2 successful bids

10 March 2016, 11:15 am

Updated: The link to view the full list of successful bids has been amended.

Following an open bidding process, the Department of Health has announced the results for the second round of the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (CASSH). CASSH was first launched in 2012, it aims to support the development of specialised housing for older people, adults with physical disabilities, learning difficulties or mental health needs.

A total of 79 schemes are set to receive around £84.2 million to develop up to 2,000 affordable homes. These will be built over the next few years. View the full list (excluding London) of phase 2 successful bids.

Suitable housing is an important part of making sure that people can remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible, in a home suited to their needs.

There is more information on the CASSH Fund and a list of allocations on the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund: guidance and allocations page, you can also read about the Mayor’s Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund and the London allocations.

News story: Health Secretary unveils plans for safer 7 day dementia service

6 March 2016, 12:15 am

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has today published the dementia implementation plan which will empower people with dementia and their family through improved care and transparency.

As part of the government’s aim of building a higher-quality NHS for patients, with safer care throughout the week, the dementia implementation plan will make sure:

  • for the first time, people with dementia and their families will benefit from greater transparency and will be able to compare the quality of dementia care in their local area
  • the Care Quality Commission will include standards of dementia care in their inspections to make sure services are safer for people with dementia 7 days a week
  • every person with dementia will receive a personalised care plan

As part of plans to raise awareness of health concerns, a new pilot scheme will extend NHS Health Checks. For the first time, NHS Health Checks will include awareness raising, education and discussion of risk reduction for dementia for people aged 40 or older. This is currently only available for over 65s.

Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 92% per cent of people think hospitals are frightening for the person with dementia.

The rollout of 7 day services will benefit dementia patients as it will help make sure they don’t stay in hospital longer than necessary. Currently, consultant hospital ward rounds vary across the week and around the country. Under new plans:

  • all patients in high dependency care will be seen and reviewed by a consultant twice a day, every day of the week by 2020
  • if clinically appropriate, all patients, including those with dementia, will be reviewed by a consultant ward round once a day, every day of the week by 2020.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said:

A dementia diagnosis can bring fear and heartache, but I want Britain to be the best place in the world to live well with dementia. Last Parliament we made massive strides on diagnosis rates and research – the global race is now on to find a cure for dementia and I want the UK to win it.

This Parliament I want us to make big progress on the quality of care and treatment. Hospitals can be frightening and confusing places for people with dementia, so our new plan will guarantee them safer 7 day hospital care, as well as tackling unacceptable variations in quality across England through transparent Ofsted style ratings.

The dementia implementation plan builds on national success including raising dementia diagnosis rates to their highest levels, doubling dementia research funding and getting over 1 million people to become dementia friends.

In addition, leaders across the health, social care, local government and voluntary sector organisations have signed a joint declaration, committing to improving care and support to people with dementia following diagnosis.

Commenting on the declaration, Health Minister Jane Ellison said:

Dementia touches so many families but the quality of care people get after a diagnosis of dementia can vary across the country and this has to change. The Implementation Plan will tackle this head on and we will be working hard to make sure people with dementia, their families and carers get better support.

The government has invested £150m to develop a national Dementia Research Institute to drive forward new treatments and help fulfil our goal to find a cure by 2025. This will be supported by our new aim for 10 per cent of all people diagnosed with dementia to take part in research.

“We applaud the Government’s firm commitment to make the UK the most dementia friendly place in the world. We look forward to leading the continued transformation of society and investment in research so that, by 2020, people with dementia get the support they need every day of the year – whether that be at home, in residential care, hospital or in the wider community.”

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

Since the first Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge was launched we’ve seen real progress in the fight against this devastating condition, and the beginnings of a social movement to rally people behind that fight. There is still much work to do, and Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomes this plan which signals a strong commitment to build on the achievements of recent years. We look forward to working with the Government to deliver action on research and help accelerate the development of much-needed new treatments, preventions and improvements in diagnosis.

“The UK is leading the way in the fight against dementia, and this blueprint once again shows real leadership from the UK Government in its efforts to tackle the condition. This plan lays out a clear direction for driving forward improved care, new treatments and greater awareness, and it will be important to link this strategy to international efforts if we are to have the greatest impact.”

David Mayhew, Prime Minister’s Dementia Envoy and Chairman of Alzheimer’s Research UK

Important achievements on dementia so far include:

  • over 1.46 million people have become Dementia Friends
  • over 600,000 NHS and social care staff have been trained in better supporting people with dementia
  • over 142 communities across England have signed up to be dementia friendly communities
  • two thirds of those with dementia now receive a diagnosis of dementia – more than ever before
  • we invested £50 million in creating dementia friendly environments in hospitals and care homes
  • record numbers of people participating in dementia research

News story: New Dementia Envoy appointed

1 March 2016, 10:11 am

The envoy works with countries, corporations and leaders from around the world, sharing expertise and promoting research and support for people with dementia and their carers.

David Mayhew said:

It’s an honour to be asked to take on this role for the Prime Minister, and I am delighted to be able to play a part in furthering international efforts to tackle dementia. As chairman of Alzheimer’s Research UK I am acutely aware that dementia is not only a personal tragedy for those affected, but a problem affecting all of society, and arguably the greatest medical challenge of our time.

Urgent action is needed, and the UK has a hugely important role to play in this fight. I look forward to working with the UK government to tackle dementia on an international scale – we must lead the way, and we must all redouble our efforts to defeat this devastating condition once and for all.

Dementia is a high priority for the UK government and internationally. The envoy will play an important role in supporting the 2020 challenge on dementia.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, said:

Defeating dementia is one the biggest challenges of our generation. David’s appointment once again demonstrates the government’s commitment to this task, both within the UK and on a global scale.

David brings a wealth of experience and influence to this role, backed by a highly impressive track record of engaging and attracting private finance into dementia innovation, research and care. I’m looking forward to working with him as we continue to lead the way in improving the lives of people with dementia around the world.

I also want to express my personal gratitude to Dr Dennis Gillings for the tremendous leadership, commitment and energy he has brought to the envoy role to tackle dementia over the last 2 years.

David takes over from Dennis Gillings, who was the World Dementia Envoy for 2 years. Dennis helped to launch the £100 million Dementia Discovery Fund and was instrumental in the progress that’s been made since the first G8 summit on dementia was held in 2013.

Dennis Gillings said:

It has been a privilege to serve as the UK government’s first World Dementia Envoy, supporting the UK’s global leadership in tackling the life-shattering disease of dementia, which impacted on me personally as well as professionally.

I am delighted that David Mayhew has been appointed as the new global dementia envoy. He has exactly the right combination of skills, experience and influence to keep the UK at the forefront of the global fight-back against dementia and to sustain the momentum I was very proud to be a part of.

David Mayhew CBE is former Chairman of JP Morgan Cazenove and now Vice Chairman of JP Morgan’s global investment bank. He is also Chairman of Alzheimer’s Research UK and a member of the Wellcome Trust Investment Committee, supporting new breakthroughs in dementia research.

Press release: PM: Improve mental health treatment to get thousands more back to work

15 February 2016, 1:21 pm

  • tens of thousands of people with mental health conditions to be helped to find or stay in work
  • Prime Minister meets with CEOs of top UK companies to agree new workplace standards on mental health
  • extra £1 billion a year for the NHS to help put mental and physical health on equal footing

The Prime Minister is today announcing that tens of thousands of people with mental health conditions will be supported to find or return to work as part of a massive new drive to transform treatment in England.

Almost 3 in every 5 people with mental health conditions are currently unable to work, despite evidence showing employment can be a crucial part of treatment.

To end this disparity, the Prime Minister is today announcing that action will be taken across government, the NHS and private companies to treat potentially debilitating mental health conditions early on through improved access to care and to help those already struggling with mental health issues to find or return to work.

As part of this approach he today met with business leaders including the CEOs of Royal Mail, Barclays and BT to highlight the need for a shift in attitude to people with mental health conditions in the workplace and to agree new workplace standards.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Mental health is a major problem in our country and it must be properly addressed.

By providing this extra £1 billion a year for mental health care we will make sure it gets the attention in the NHS it needs.

But I want to go even further and end the status quo that sees more than half of people with mental health conditions unable to find a job – ensuring tens of thousands are able to find or return to work over the next 5 years.

The extra £1 billion a year will be used to support 1 million more people with mental health problems to access high quality care that they are not getting today and is an important step towards delivering the government’s commitment to put mental and physical health on an equal footing.

The new approach is based on recommendations from the Mental Health Taskforce – an independent, expert panel chaired by Mind CEO Paul Farmer – which today set out a comprehensive plan to tackle the problem which affects millions of people in England and accounts for a quarter of all ill health – higher than heart diseases, cancer and diabetes.

Crucially the Taskforce recognised clear links between work and good mental health and the need for more people to be able to access treatment early on so they can avoid long-term unemployment. The report called for employment for people with mental health conditions to be recognised as a health outcome. Their comments came as latest figures showed only 43% of people with mental health conditions are in employment compared to almost four fifths of the general population and two thirds of people with other health conditions.

To fully embed the link between employment and mental health, the government will work with the NHS to ensure:

  • access to talking therapies for people suffering from conditions like anxiety or depression will be almost doubled so that 800,000 people get the support they need thanks to a £308 million investment
  • 29,000 more people with mental health conditions will be helped to find or stay in work thanks to the increase in these therapies and there will be more mental health experts in job centres to embed the link between employment and mental health
  • £50 million will be spent to double the reach of programmes finding work for people with mental illness – known as Individual Placement and Support Programmes – with evidence showing these programmes save £6,000 per person due to reduced inpatient costs
  • over £50 million is invested to more than double the number of employment advisors, so that they are linked in to every talking therapy service in the country

Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer, who led the Taskforce, said:

This is a landmark moment for mental health care in this country, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform services and support for people with mental health problems. We are saying to the NHS, to government, to industry, to local leaders and to the public that mental health must be a priority for everyone in England.

We need to prevent problems in the first place, and to respond to people’s mental health problems at the earliest possible opportunity. As part of this, the NHS can and should be a world leader in care which treats people’s minds and bodies equally well.

This report is a feasible and affordable blueprint for how to significantly improve care for people with mental health problems. We have consulted with the experts – people with experience of mental health problems, professionals providing care and the public. It’s time to make positive change.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith said:

One in 4 people have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year and we want to offer them as much support as possible and help them get back to work. This is particularly vital because we know that employment can help promote recovery and keep people healthy.

By investing over £50 million and introducing more than double the number of employment advisors to work alongside therapists, we will make a real difference.

This is an important step towards integrating employment and health support to help people find and stay in work. We will set out more on our approach in the Work and Health White Paper.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

We have made monumental strides in the way we think about and treat mental illness in this country in the last few decades — from a society that locks people away in asylums to one giving mental health equal priority in law.

But we must accelerate progress even further. Our shared vision of a 7-day mental health service means people will get the care they need, when they need it, and will help us do much more to prevent mental illness in the first place. We will work across government and with the NHS to make the recommendations in this landmark report a reality, so that we truly deliver equality between mental and physical health.

Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England, said:

One in 4 of us will suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental health problem, but mental health services have historically been the NHS’ poor relation.

Putting mental and physical health on an equal footing will require major improvements in 7-day mental health crisis care, a large increase in psychological treatments, and a more integrated approach to how services are delivered. That’s what today’s taskforce report calls for, and it’s what the NHS is now committed to pursuing.

Moya Greene, chief executive, Royal Mail said:

Creating a culture where all employees feel able to talk about their wellbeing, and where managers feel empowered to play a role in helping to support those around them, is vital for a competitive and sustainable business.

One of the biggest responsibilities lies with business leaders, who have a duty to promote the importance of wellbeing right from the very top and create a positive and accepting environment that encourages people to discuss mental health issues and seek support.

At Royal Mail, we understand the importance of giving our people as much support as possible – not only to look after those around them but to ensure they can also maintain positive wellbeing themselves.

Securing access for a million more people

Alongside helping people with mental health conditions to find or return to work the government is backing the Taskforce’s recommendations to improve treatment and support for people at all stages of their life:

  • 5,000 new psychological therapists will be trained contributing to 70,000 more children and young people receiving access to high-quality mental health care
  • by 2020 intensive home treatment will be available in every part of the country as an alternative to hospital; currently, only half of local areas have teams that can offer 24/7 crisis service in the community
  • by 2020 no acute hospital will be without mental health liaison services in emergency departments and inpatients wards. Currently only a minority of A&E departments have 24/7 liaison mental health services that reach minimum quality standards
  • at least 280,000 people living with severe mental health problems will be offered health checks so they have their physical needs met

Improving life chances

Last month the Prime Minister set out the first phase of support for mental health treatment recommended by the Taskforce.

He announced that over the next 5 years:

  • £290 million will be spent to provide specialist care to mums before and after having their babies
  • the first ever waiting time targets will be introduced for teenagers with eating disorders and people experiencing psychosis
  • nearly £250 million will be allocated to mental health services in hospital emergency departments
  • over £400 million will go towards enabling 24/7 treatment in communities as safe and effective alternatives to hospitals

Notes to editors

The £1 billion annual investment will allow an extra 1 million people with mental health problems to access high quality care that they aren’t getting today. This is broken down as:

  • 30,000 more people receiving specialist perinatal mental health care
  • 70,000 more children and young people receiving specialist help
  • 600,000 more people receiving access to talking therapies
  • 30,000 more people receiving employment support through Individual Placement and Support (IPS); and 280,000 more people receiving follow on care

Talking therapies (previously known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies or IAPT) offers patients a realistic and routine first-line treatment for depression and anxiety disorders, combined where appropriate with medication – which were traditionally the only treatment available.

Individual Placement and Support Programmes support people with mental health conditions to become job ready and further helps them once they have found employment. IPS can release savings of around £6,000 per person through reduced inpatients costs during an 18 month period. A recent study found:

  • IPS clients were twice as likely to gain employment than those without support
  • they kept their jobs for longer
  • they were less likely to be hospitalised

Currently more than 3 million people access mental health care services each year.

News story: New investment in mental health services

15 February 2016, 10:00 am

The announcement follows the publication of a report by the Mental Health Taskforce, chaired by Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind. The taskforce has reviewed mental health care and has set out its vision for preventative, holistic mental health care and making sure that care is always available for people experiencing a crisis.

The recommendations to be delivered by 2021 include:

  • an end to the practice of sending people out of their local area for acute inpatient care
  • providing mental health care to 70,000 more children and young people
  • supporting 30,000 more new and expectant mothers through maternal mental health services
  • new funding to ensure all acute hospitals have mental health services in emergency departments for people of all ages
  • increasing access to talking therapies to reach 25% of those who need this support
  • a commitment to reducing suicides by 10%

Responding to the report, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

We have made monumental strides in the way we treat mental illness in this country — but we must go even further.

Our shared vision of a 7 day mental health service means people will get the care they need, when they need it, and will help prevent mental illness in the first place.

One in 4 people will experience a mental health problem and the cost of mental ill health to the economy, the NHS and society as a whole is £105 billion a year.

This announcement will accelerate the progress that has already been made, including:

  • increasing the money put into mental health every year since 2010, giving the NHS a record £11.7 billion last year
  • introducing the first ever access and waiting time standards for mental health, meaning people will get the care they need when they need it
  • investing £1.4 billion to transform young people’s mental health services

Alistair Burt, minister for mental health, said:

Today’s report gives a fantastic boost to changes in mental health services, with more care available close to people’s homes. I particularly welcome the fact that young people and new and expectant mums will get the mental health care they need. For our part, we are investing more than ever before in mental health and will make sure the NHS delivers on this plan.

Speech: Children’s mental health: new online resources for adults

11 February 2016, 4:13 pm

Why we must never stop talking about children and young people’s mental health

It’s been said before but it’s something definitely worth repeating – better mental health starts with a conversation. Achieving that first step – mustering the courage to share something so deeply personal and troubling – needs support, understanding and encouragement. This is especially true for children and young people. The insights we have indicate that men in particular find it more difficult to talk about mental health.

As adults, we sometimes find it hard to confront these kinds of problems. We worry about the reaction of work colleagues, friends and family – but for the young, still finding their way in the world, these worries can seem insurmountable at times. The taunts and ill-informed judgements of the playground or classroom can stifle cries for help. Meanwhile, the largely unmoderated world of social media offers dangers and benefits in equal measure.

Understanding these issues, in both the physical and virtual realms, requires heightened awareness from health and care professionals, informed by those they are tasked to help. This is why we have worked with MindEd to develop a resource, which includes information pages on topics such as e-safety, self-esteem, building personal skills and the impact of the digital world on identity. Information is also provided about specific digital risks such as cyberbullying, pornography and radicalisation.

MindEd offers free educational resources on children and young people’s mental health for all adults, funded in part by government and led by our sector partner, the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health. The intent is to help protect young people’s safety online and to keep professionals properly informed. The more knowledgeable they can be – and be perceived to be – the more trusted the advice. Credible, professional voices provide young people with the confidence they need to manage their ‘digital lives’ and make responsible decisions about what they should – and shouldn’t – do online.

Whether it’s developing policy, legislation or training, best results are always achieved by involving the people for whom the benefit is intended. And so it was in this case. Development of MindEd’s online resource was driven by feedback from young people, who were clear in their belief that health professionals needed a better understanding of online risks and resilience factors. Whilst it is not always possible to change children’s circumstances, a better understanding of their experiences is often the most effective way to support them.

Understanding personal experience lies at the heart of the recent Time to Talk Day, which took place on 4 February – a ‘day of action’ from Time to Change. Part funded by the Department of Health, Time to Change is the campaigning arm of leading mental health charities Rethink Mental Illness and Mind. One of their primary aims is to remind us all that a problem kept hidden can mean a lifetime compromised – or even cut short.

Recently, I was privileged to meet youth mental health campaigner Zephyr Jussa. Zephyr has experienced many of the issues described above, but was able to find the courage – when battling depression in his teens – to open up about his mental health problems. He sought and received the help he needed and has since gone on to make a difference to others by speaking publically about his experiences. He is a brave young man.

The consequences of not reaching out for support are thrown into even sharper relief by Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is all about ‘building resilience’ and teaching children to ‘bounce forward’ from life’s challenges. It’s also about seeking the help and support they need, when they need it. As with many such initiatives, the week’s activities – led by the Duchess of Cambridge – has been a joint effort and includes MindEd on the roster of supporters.

More broadly, as was our stated intent in last year’s Future in mind report, initiatives like Time to Talk and Children’s Mental Health Week are helping us all continue the national conversation about children and young people’s mental health. Along with their parents and carers, they deserve the quality of mental health services and ready access to information to make their own decisions about the support and treatment they need.

In tandem with our work on suicide prevention there is much to be positive about in our national pursuit of better mental health. These are firm foundations on which to build better services for future generations – but whatever happens, the most important thing we must all do is keep talking.

Government response: Citizen Go’s campaign about crisis pregnancy

9 February 2016, 3:29 pm

The government will invest £365 million between financial years 2015 to 2016 and 2020 to 2021 in perinatal mental health services.

The Mandate from the government to NHS England for 2016 to 2017 includes a commitment for NHS England “to close the health gap for people of all ages…with a greater focus on prevention and early intervention, as well as improvements to perinatal mental health”.

It is also important that women continue to have early access to safe, legal and high quality abortion services. As part of the Department of Health’s Required Standard Operating Procedures, RSOP 14 states that:

All women requesting an abortion should be offered the opportunity to discuss their options and choices with, and receive therapeutic support from, a trained pregnancy counsellor and this offer should be repeated at every stage of the care pathway.

A trained pregnancy counsellor is someone trained to diploma level. Counselling must be non-directive and non-judgemental and should not create barriers or delays. Counsellors should undergo continuous professional development and training similar to other professionals. Post-abortion counselling should also be available for those women who require it.

This is reiterated in the clinical guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion. This states that seeking information from women to determine the degree of certainty about their decision, careful and sensitive enquiry as to the reasons for requesting an abortion, and exploration of any doubts or suggestion of pressure or coercion are an essential part of the process.

Counselling should be provided by appropriately qualified people who offer non-judgmental support and who act in their professional judgement in the best interests of their clients, without undue influence or regard to outside interests.

The government’s leads on financial support and adoption lie with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education respectively.

News story: Female genital mutilation prevention week of action

8 February 2016, 9:50 am

Updated: Added information about mental health and the training available to healthcare professionals.

Following the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, public health minister Jane Ellison has launched an FGM prevention week of action and is urging health and care professionals to help prevent FGM.

FGM and mental health

The department is working to understand the specific mental health needs of FGM survivors. We are working with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy to survey the experiences of professionals treating women and girls affected by FGM.

Health professionals can access a new NHS Choices training video to help them understand the specific mental health needs of women with FGM. New e-learning for healthcare professionals, from Health Education England, about the mental health impacts of FGM will be available from March 2016.

Jane Ellison said:

FGM is an abusive and illegal practice that can devastate lives and cause extreme and lifelong physical and psychological suffering to women and girls.

This government is committed to ending FGM in a generation in the UK. We have taken bold action so that for we now know how many FGM survivors we are treating in the NHS. We are also training thousands of front line professionals to play their part caring for women and protecting girls from FGM.

The next step is to make sure that survivors are aware of and have access to the right mental health support. So we are working with professionals, campaigners and survivors to plan how to deliver and embed these services in the health system.

FGM survivors

Jane Ellison visited the African Well Woman service in Ealing. She met women who talked about their own experiences of FGM. Watch ‘Christina’ talk about her experience.

You can watch ‘Christina’ talk about her experience.

FGM prevention

There are currently 60,000 girls aged 0 to 14 years living in the UK who are potentially at risk of FGM.

Jane Ellison said:

I am immensely proud of the progress that has been made over the recent years to protect and care for women and girls who are affected by FGM. For the first time we have started collecting information about the number of patients the NHS is treating with FGM.

We have introduced guidance on how to protect young girls and care for women who have already undergone FGM. And we have brought into legislation a clear new duty of when to report to the police cases of FGM in children.

However there is still more to do and FGM prevention week is an opportunity for everybody to use this knowledge and guidance and take positive action to end FGM. We want to end FGM in a generation in the UK.

This week, whether you are a health or social care professional, a member of an FGM practising community or an FGM survivor, we would like you to think about your own role and what more you can do to help prevent FGM in your area.

FGM prevention week is to mark the annual International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM on 6 February. It will run from 8 to 12 February 2016 and will focus on a different aspect of FGM prevention work each day:

  • Tuesday 9 February: mandatory reporting
  • Wednesday 10 February: communities and survivors
  • Thursday 11 February: training
  • Friday 12 February: mental health

See ideas and resources to help you prevent FGM and raise the profile of it in your area during FGM prevention week.

Follow and take part in the FGM prevention week of action on Twitter using the hashtag #endFGM

Press release: Prime Minister pledges a revolution in mental health treatment

11 January 2016, 12:15 am

  • £290 million to provide specialist care to mums before and after having their babies
  • first ever waiting time targets to be introduced for teenagers with eating disorders and people experiencing psychosis
  • nearly £250 million for mental health services in hospital emergency departments
  • over £400 million to enable 24/7 treatment in communities as safe and effective alternative to hospital

Almost a billion pounds of investment, targeted support for new mums and the first ever waiting time targets for teenagers with eating disorders, will all be announced by the Prime Minister today as he uses a keynote speech to take on the taboo of poor mental health and transform services across the country.

The announcements will come as part of a speech focused on the government’s plans to transform people’s life chances and begin a new approach to put a stop to poverty.

They have also been recommended by NHS England’s independent mental health taskforce – comprised of experts, chaired by Mind CEO Paul Farmer and set up as part of the NHS plan for the next 5 years. The report, to be published in the coming weeks, will also suggest a 5 year mental health strategy for the NHS.

With 1 in 4 expected to develop a problem such as a form of depression or anxiety this year alone, and suicide now the leading cause of death for men under 50, the Prime Minister will say that it is time to stop sweeping mental health issues under the carpet and will call for a frank and open discussion on how we can tackle the issue.

His plans will include:

  • £290 million of new investment over the next 5 years to provide mental healthcare for new mums
  • £247 million to invest in liaison mental health services in emergency departments
  • over £400 million to enable 24/7 treatment in communities as a safe and effective alternative to hospital
  • expanded services to help teenagers with eating disorders – as anorexia kills more than any other mental health condition

Further investment and service expansions will be announced when the mental health taskforce report is published in the next few weeks.

Today’s pledge builds on previous government funding commitments for mental health over the last 12 months, including £150 million for young people with eating disorders and £1.25 billion for perinatal and children and young people’s mental health – an unprecedented investment so that professionals can intervene earlier and stop problems escalating.

The measures announced today include:

£290 million to help new and expectant mums who have poor mental health

One in 5 new mothers develop a mental health problem around the time of the birth of their child and some 30,000 more women need specialist services. If untreated this can turn into a lifelong illness, proven to increase the likelihood of poor outcomes to the mother or new baby.

That is why the government is today announcing a £290 million investment in the years to 2020 which will mean that at least 30,000 more women each year will have access to specialist mental healthcare before and after having their baby. For example, through perinatal classes, new community perinatal teams and more beds in mother and baby units, mums with serious mental health problems can get the best support and keep their babies with them.

£247 million to place mental health services in every hospital emergency department

People with mental health problems are 3 times more likely to turn up at A&E than those without. Yet not every hospital in the country has the services needed to support them. Every hospital in the country should have liaison mental health services, which will mean specialist staff, with training in mental health, will be on hand to make sure that patients get the right care for them, and are referred for further support if needed.

Today, the Prime Minister will announce £247 million will be deployed over the next 5 years to make sure that every emergency department has mental health support and, as a global leading effort, will make sure that these services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in at least half of England’s acute hospitals by 2020. This new money will not only improve the care of those with mental illness in A&E but will also generate important savings for these hospitals – through fewer admissions and reduced lengths of stay, for example.

Faster care and expanded services for teenagers with eating disorders

We know that eating disorders are most likely to affect those aged between 14 and 25 and, if they go untreated for more than 3 to 5 years, the chances of recovery are greatly reduced, while incidents of self-harm increase. We also know that anorexia kills more than any other mental health illness.

As investment in new services expands access to care, teenagers suffering from eating disorders like anorexia will get help much more quickly, and from 2017/2018 a new waiting time measure will track the increasing number of patients being seen within a month of being referred, or within a week for urgent cases.

Improved waiting time target for people experiencing psychosis

About 75% of mental illness in adult life begins before the age of 18 and it is estimated that 17,000 people a year experience a first episode of psychosis. While care across the country is improving until now, there have been no national standards setting out a clear timeframe for care.

Today, the Prime Minister will set out a new waiting time target – to be in place in April 2016 – so that from next year at least half of those experiencing psychosis for the first time must be treated within 2 weeks, rising to at least 60% by 2020.

Over £400 million for crisis home resolution teams to deliver 24/7 treatment in communities and homes as a safe and effective alternative to hospitals

Crisis resolution and home treatment teams have been introduced throughout England as part of a transformation of the community mental healthcare system. They aim to assess all patients being considered for acute hospital admission, to offer intensive home treatment rather than hospital admission if feasible, and to facilitate early discharge from hospital. Key features include 24-hour availability and intensive contact in the community, with visits twice daily if needed.

The new investment in this integrated, multidisciplinary approach will ensure more complete coverage around the country.

The Prime Minister is expected to say:

Mental illness isn’t contagious. There’s nothing to be frightened of.

As a country, we need to be far more mature about this. Less hushed tones, less whispering; more frank and open discussion.

We need to take away that shame, that embarrassment, let people know that they’re not in this alone, that when the clouds descend, they don’t have to suffer silently.

I want us to be able to say to anyone who is struggling, ‘talk to someone, ask your doctor for help and we will always be there to support you’.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind and Independent Chair of NHS England’s Taskforce on Mental Health, said:

This is a significant moment for mental health and we are pleased to see the Prime Minister giving it the attention it deserves. Mental health is hugely important in any discussion about improving life chances and mental health problems can affect anyone, from mums-to-be preparing for their first child to older people at risk of isolation.

The Prime Minister rightly recognises some key priorities that have been identified by the mental health taskforce, which will soon be publishing its full report. Children and young people, pregnant women and new mums, and those in crisis urgently need better services and support. But it doesn’t stop there. The taskforce will be setting out the road map for the next 5 years, a transformational plan that will require a commitment at every level, from government right through to every local community.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said:

For both the public and the NHS, improving mental health has rightly now shot up our national ‘to do’ list. Putting mental and physical health on an equal footing is a far reaching idea whose time has now come. A sea change in public attitudes coupled with an increasing range of effective mental health treatments mean that now’s the time to tackle the huge unmet need that affects families and communities across the nation.

Today’s measures are a critical first step, and when our independent taskforce publishes its final report in a few weeks, the whole NHS will need to mobilise to translate their wider proposals into action.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said:

Giving people the right mental health support is one of the most important ways to make sure everyone has the best start in life.

We are boosting the mental health support available for young people with £1.4 billion over the next 5 years, putting more mental health professionals in emergency departments and helping new and expectant mums and their babies to be happy and healthy.

Notes to editors

Today’s announcements will be made as part of a wide ranging speech delivered by the Prime Minister today on securing better opportunities for the most vulnerable in society and looking at new ways of tackling poverty. This will include announcements on strengthening families, tackling addiction, housing, education and discrimination.

Other announcements outlined in the speech include:

£70 million of relationship support funding and steps to underline the importance of parenting

Speaking about the importance of strong families and parenting in preventing poverty, the Prime Minister will announce that the government will double its funding for relationship support, from £35 million to £70 million over the course of the Parliament. It is expected to help more than 300,000 couples and train more than 10,000 staff.

Regenerating 100 housing estates across the country

The Prime Minister will outline plans to transform 100 housing estates across the country working with residents, housing associations, councils and private developers. For some, this will mean simply knocking down the estates and starting again, for others it might mean changes to layout, upgrading facilities and improving connections with local transport. An advisory panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine, will also be set up to make sure that all tenants and homeowners are properly protected. The government will put forward £140 million to harness investment from developers.

News story: 2016 New Year Honours for health and social care services

31 December 2015, 8:54 am

People from across the health and care community have been acknowledged for their service in the latest New Year Honours awards.


  • Dr Michael Graham Jacobs, Clinical Lead in Infectious Diseases, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. For services to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
  • Harpal Singh Kumar, Chief Executive, Cancer Research UK. For services to cancer research.

Companions of the Order of the Bath

  • Professor Paul Anthony Cosford, Director for Health Protection and Medical Director, Public Health England. For services to public health.

Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire

  • Professor Lesley Jean Fallowfield, Director, Sussex Health Outcomes Research and Education in Cancer, University of Sussex. For services to psycho-oncology.

  • Professor Margaret Mcrae Whitehead, Head, Department of Public Health and Policy, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool. For services to public health.

  • Professor Til Hilary Margaret Wykes, Vice-Dean of Psychology and Systems Sciences and Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation, King’s College London. For services to clinical psychology.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

  • Professor Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse, Public Health England. For services to nursing.
  • Sharon Tracey Blackburn, Policy and Communications Director, National Care Forum. For services to nursing and the not-for-profit care sector.
  • Dr Timothy John Gilby Brooks, Head, Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory, Public Health England. For services to public health.
  • Professor David Alastair Standish Compston, Professor of Neurology, University of Cambridge. For services to multiple sclerosis treatment.
  • Professor Charles Frank Craddock, Professor of Haemato-Oncology, University of Birmingham, and Consultant Haematologist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. For services to medicine and medical research.
  • Professor Melanie Jane Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine, University of Leicester, and Honorary Consultant, University Hospitals of Leicester. For services to diabetes research.

  • Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind. For services to mental health.

  • Sandra Jane Keene, Director of Adult Social Services, Leeds City Council, and President, ADASS. For services to social care.
  • Professor Deirdre Anne Kelly, Consultant Paediatric Hepatologist, Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. For services to children and young people with liver disease.

  • Professor Karen Anne Luker, Lately Dean, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester. For services to nursing and midwifery.
  • Dr Geraldine Mary Strathdee, OBE, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England. For services to mental health.

  • Keith Malcolm Willett, National Director for Acute Care, NHS England, and Professor of Orthpaedic Trauma Surgery, University of Oxford. For services to the NHS.

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

  • Maree Lisette Barnett, Head of Emerging Infections, Department of Health.
  • Neil Richard Bentley, Head of Specialist Microbiology Technical Services, Public Health England. For services to public health.
  • Lorraine Bewes, Chief Financial Officer, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust. For services to NHS financial management.
  • Martin Russell Bromiley, Founder, Clinical Human Factors Group. For services to patient safety.
  • Dr Adrienne Cooper, Strategic Director, Adult Social Services, Housing and Health, Sutton Borough Council. For services to adult social services.
  • Stephen Groves, National Head of Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response, NHS England. For services to public health.
  • Dr Jennifer Margaret Harries, Director, South of England, Public Health England. For services to public health.

  • Professor Amanda Caroline Howe, Professor of Primary Care, University of East Anglia and President-Elect, World Organization of Family Doctors. For services to primary care.
  • Daljit Lally, Deputy Chief Executive, Northumberland County Council and Joint Executive Director, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. For services to integrated care.
  • Dr Daniel Stuart Martin, critical care doctor, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. For services to the prevention of infectious diseases.
  • Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive, Multiple Sclerosis Society. For services to older people and the voluntary sector.
  • Professor Helen Margaret Odell-Miller, Professor of Music Therapy and Director, Music Therapy Research Centre, Anglia Ruskin University. For services to music therapy.
  • Professor Nichola Jane Katharine Rumsey, Professor of Appearance Psychology, University of the West of England. For services to people affected by an altered appearance.
  • Dr Oliver John Shanley, Executive Director, Quality and Safety, Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. For services to mental health and disabilities nursing.
  • Professor Stephen William Smye, theme lead, National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network. For services to healthcare research.
  • Heather Patricia Strawbridge, Chair, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. For services to health and care.
  • Jane Tomkinson, Chief Executive, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. For services to NHS financial management.

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Beverley Barclay, Director of Clinical Services, The J’s Hospice, Essex. For services to nursing, particularly young adults with life-limiting conditions.
  • Dr Nisreen Hanna Booya, lately medical director, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. For services to healthcare, particularly mental health.
  • Ailsa Margaret, Mrs Bosworth, Chief Executive and founder, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. For services to people with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Janet Burns, Chair, National Dignity Council. For services for the promotion of dignity in care for all.
  • Philippa Davies, lately Deputy Director of Nursing, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust. For services to nursing.
  • Jane Sarah Prosser Davies-Slowik, Associate Dental Dean, Health Education West Midlands and Special Care Dentist, Wolverhampton NHS. For services to improving oral health of disadvantaged people.
  • Avril Mary Devaney, Director of Nursing, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. For services to nursing of people with mental health problems.
  • Stephen Mark Evans, Paramedic, North West Ambulance Service. For services to first response and voluntary service to young people.
  • Julie Flaherty, Nurse Consultant, Paediatric Assessment and Decision Area, Salford Royal Foundation Trust. For services to paediatric nursing in Greater Manchester.
  • Professor Alfred Paul Forster, lately chair, Prostate Cancer UK. For services to patients with prostate cancer.
  • Dr Rachel Jane Furley, Paediatrician, Cambridgeshire. For services to sick and disabled children in the UK and Belarus.
  • Deborah Glover, Editor, Primary Care Nursing Review. For services to nursing and nursing journalism.
  • Richard Paul Griffin, Director, Institute of Vocational Learning and Workforce Research, Buckinghamshire New University. For services to health and care.
  • Dr Charles Thomas Heatley, GP and Clinical Director for Elective Care, NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group. For services to primary healthcare.
  • Susan Johnson, JP, Chair, Macmillan Cancer Support, Hyndburn Fundraising Committee and area chair, East Lancashire Committees. For services to supporting patients with cancer.
  • Elizabeth Lees, Deputy Director, Nursing and Patient Experience, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust. For services to nursing.
  • Wendy Penelope Maxwell, Founder, Chill4Us Carers. For services to carers.
  • Cyd McCarthy-Akrill, Regional Director, Hull and Yorkshire, Barchester Healthcare. For services to people with learning disabilities and complex needs in Hull and Yorkshire.
  • Judith Barbara McGregor, Head of Programmes, Skills Academy for Health North West, Health Education England. For services to health education in the NHS.
  • Annie Brenda Ollivierre-Smith, Cath Lab Manager and Lead Cardiac Nurse, BMI The London Independent Hospital. For services to cardiac nursing.
  • Professor Allan Anthony Pacey, Professor of Andrology, Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield. For services to reproductive medicine.
  • Paula Phillips, nurse consultant, Child and Adolescent Forensic Mental Health Services, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. For services to mental health nursing.
  • David William Prout, Perinatal Community Mental Health Nurse, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. For services to community mental health nursing.
  • Eric Rooney, Consultant in Dental Public Health, Public Health England. For services to dentistry.
  • Julia Aline Samuel, Founder Patron and Trustee, Child Bereavement UK. For services to bereaved children.
  • Carol Ann Stonham, senior nurse practitioner, Minchinhampton GP Surgery, Gloucestershire. For services to nursing.
  • Samantha Jane Swinglehurst, lead nurse, specialist practice, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. For services to child and adolescent mental health services.
  • Lucy Alexandra Watts, for services to young people with disabilities.
  • Graeme Kendal Whippy, senior manager, group disability programme, Lloyds Banking Group. For services to people with dementia and disabilities.
  • Helen Macpherson Young Wilcox, vice-chair, Skills for Care. For services to social care.
  • Dr Anthony Ffoulkes Williams, Chair, Subgroup on Maternal and Child Nutrition, Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. For services to nutrition in infants and children.

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

  • Maurice Charlesworth, senior volunteer, Age UK Lambeth. For services to older people in Lambeth, London.
  • Dr Darren Frazer Daniels, Chief Executive, UK Sepsis Trust. For services to improving services for sepsis sufferers.
  • Pauline Anne Donaldson, Treasurer, Tyne and Wear ME/CFS Support Group. For services to people with myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome and their carers.
  • Fiona Fry, lead specialist nurse in Hepatology, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. For services to nursing.
  • Patricia Mary Glazebrook, Vice President, Sick Children’s Trust. For services to sick children and their families in Cambridge.
  • John Joe Heuerman, Ambassador, Bobby Moore Fund. For services to cancer research.
  • Helen Clare Meehan, lately specialist palliative care nurse, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. For services to palliative care.
  • Elizabeth Joan Sexton, Chairman, League of Friends of Chippenham Hospital. For services to the community in Chippenham, Wiltshire.
  • Kathryn Ruth Vowden, lately nurse consultant, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For services to nursing.

Queen’s Ambulance Medal

  • Stephen Payne, Paramedic (Retired), South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS FT.
  • David Whitmore, Senior Clinical Adviser, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
  • Thomas McGarey, Risk Manager, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
  • Colin Robert Jeffery, Head of Operations, Hywel Dda University Health Board.

Read the full New Year Honours 2016 list.

News story: Funding for homelessness projects

22 December 2015, 10:48 am

The Department of Health has awarded £38.7 million of grants to homelessness and housing charities who were invited to bid for funding in March 2015 – another £3.4 million has been provided by the Greater London Authority.

Minister for Public Health Jane Ellison said:

We want to help homeless people get back on their feet, into safe accommodation and get the skills, and importantly, healthcare they need to get on in life. We also want to help prevent homelessness in younger people who are at risk.

I congratulate all the projects that were successful in getting funding. I hope this money will help them in the vital work they do all year round, including during the festive season.

The money is being made available under the Homelessness Change and Platform for Life programmes over the next 2 years.

Homelessness Change is designed to improve hostel accommodation and facilities so that better healthcare can be delivered in them, and help rough sleepers avoid unnecessary hospital stays. It also gives people extra support such as education and training.

The Platform for Life scheme aims to provide shared rented accommodation for young people aged 18 to 24 who are at risk of homelessness. The money will fund time-limited tenancies that are linked with participation in work, further education, or vocational training. This will help give young people the skills they need to maintain employment and have a healthy and successful life.

Communities Minister Marcus Jones said:

Homelessness is not just about getting a roof over people’s heads, it’s also about ensuring people never become homeless again. Today’s announcement demonstrates the cross-government commitment to tackling homelessness and providing support to some of the most vulnerable in our society.

This funding targets resources on initiatives to improve the life chances of homeless people through a combination of health, education and work support programmes. Ultimately these initiatives will work to prevent anyone facing a homelessness crisis again.

See a full list of the 60 projects and how much funding each will receive.

News story: Dame Una O’Brien to leave Department of Health after 25 years

14 December 2015, 2:09 pm

After 5 years as Permanent Secretary and a Civil Service career stretching back 25 years, Dame Una O’Brien has announced her intention to leave the Department of Health (DH) at the end of April 2016.

Dame Una is the first woman to be Permanent Secretary for DH and took up her role in November 2010, shortly after the first change of government in 13 years.

During this time she led the department through a defining chapter in patient safety as the government responded to Sir Robert Francis’s report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. Dame Una also led a major programme to modernise the health and care system following the Health and Social Care Act 2012 as well as the change in government earlier this year.

Before taking up the role as Permanent Secretary, Dame Una’s roles included Director General of Policy and Strategy at the department, and Director of Development and Clinical Governance at University College London NHS Foundation Trust. Earlier roles in her Civil Service career included working in the Prime Minister’s Efficiency Unit, with oversight of the criminal justice departments. She was also lead civil servant on the Bristol/Kennedy Inquiry, a seminal public inquiry into NHS heart surgery.

Dame Una said:

It has been and remains a huge privilege to work with so many talented and skilled colleagues at the Department of Health, with our national partner organisations, the NHS and beyond.

Over the last parliament, we implemented important changes to make a positive impact on people’s lives. As we plan for the next phase of change in the department and the wider health and care system, with the Spending Review complete and the government’s plans for the parliament set out, I feel the time will be right, next April, for me to leave.

My successor will be arriving at a good time to take on leadership of change in the department and the implementation of ministers’ agendas through to 2020. And I am confident that the excellent public servants in the Department of Health, applying this experience, will be highly capable of their role in ensuring that the health and care system continues to improve in the years ahead.

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said:

Una leaves the Department of Health after more than 5 years as Permanent Secretary, and a quarter of a century in the Civil Service. In that time, she has been at the centre of real and lasting improvements in the NHS, so her consistently wise advice will be much missed. She has made a huge contribution as we have worked together towards the goal of creating the safest and most compassionate health service in the world and I wish Una every success for the future.

Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, said:

I am hugely grateful to Una for all that she has done over the last 25 years in the Civil Service, and in the last 5 in particular, where she has expertly led the Department of Health. Una has also made an enormous contribution to the wider leadership of the Civil Service, including on important issues such as talent and diversity, for which I am hugely grateful. I wish Una all the very best in the next phase of her career. We will miss her.

Prior to working in the Civil Service, Dame Una was a researcher on Northern Ireland for two MPs. In the 1980s, she also helped establish London Lighthouse, a pioneering third sector provider of services for people with HIV and AIDS.

News story: Supporting victims of modern slavery through healthcare services

2 December 2015, 12:21 pm

The UK continues to play an important part in the effort to tackle modern slavery and support victims. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is the second piece of anti-slavery legislation in 200 years. The Act gives law enforcement the tools to fight modern slavery, ensures perpetrators receive suitably severe punishments for these appalling crimes, and enhances support and protection for victims.

As we mark the UN International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2 December, there are a number of important developments that the Department of Health (DH) would like to share with staff in health and adult social care services.

The PROTECT (Provider Responses, Treatment and Care for Trafficked People) research project recently published its independent findings in the ‘British Medical Journal Open’ journal. Sponsored by DH, the research shows that up to 1 in 8 NHS professionals reported having contact with a patient they suspected may have been trafficked.

Further findings published by the Lancet Psychiatry show that hospital mental health services are seeing trafficked people with a range of diagnoses, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.

Many trafficking survivors talk of experiencing physical violence and psychological abuse. Research evidence shows they have poor mental health and many, especially women, are sexually abused and may acquire sexually transmitted infections as well as having to cope with unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

Those who present in healthcare settings may have little or no engagement with any other services. NHS professionals therefore have an important role to play in identifying and caring for trafficked people and in referring them for further support and by being able to support them to report to the appropriate authorities.

The UK government has a scheme of assessment and support for trafficked people. Last year, the UK Human Trafficking Centre received referrals for over 2,300 people identified as potential victims of trafficking, including over 600 children. Individuals from 112 different countries were referred to support services. In 2013, the Home Office estimated there were between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of trafficking in the UK.

The research highlights how important it is that the health system has an understanding of modern slavery and the need for training tools to support health professionals in identifying and providing support for victims. The DH e-learning tool for staff on identifying and responding to modern slavery has been updated and is available on the largest e-learning portal for NHS staff: e-Learning for Healthcare.

Staff who suspect that a patient may have been trafficked can contact the 24-hour confidential helpline, run by the Salvation Army, for professional advice and support on 0300 303 8151. Staff should follow child protection guidelines when child trafficking is suspected, and speak to their designated lead for child protection: out-of-hours staff should contact their local Children’s Social Services or Police, specifically highlighting their concerns about child trafficking.

On 1 November 2015, a provision of the Act came into force for public authorities to notify the Home Office when they encounter a potential victim of modern slavery. This is to help build the picture of modern slavery in the UK and improve the response from all public services. Doctors, GPs, nurses and other healthcare workers are not bound by this duty. They are, nevertheless, encouraged to make a voluntary notification. Notifications must be limited in how much information they divulge if the victim is an adult who has not consented to it, so that they cannot be identified personally. Any notification made is in accordance with the regulations and must not breach any obligation of confidence owed in relation to that information.

Read guidance on how to notify the Home Office.

The Minister for Public Health, Jane Ellison said:

The NHS may be the one public agency to which a victim can turn for assistance not only to address their health needs, but also to seek care and protection from this abhorrent practice.

Dr Hilary Garratt, Director of Nursing – Nursing Division of NHS England, said:

Frontline practitioners across the NHS have a critical role in identifying, supporting and caring for these vulnerable individuals and this is at the heart of our safeguarding leadership role.

Press release: PM announces funding for UK’s first Dementia Research Institute

24 November 2015, 1:30 pm

  • UK’s first Dementia Research Institute set to receive up to £150 million to launch step change in research and development
  • institute to draw together world-leading dementia expertise to accelerate the pace of research, develop new diagnostic tests and tackle the progression of the disease
  • latest step in long-term strategy to combat dementia – which already includes over £300 million committed for UK research and a separate global fund to drive international innovation

The UK’s first Dementia Research Institute is set to receive up to £150 million to deliver a step change in research and development to tackle the disease.

Led by the Medical Research Council, the institute will bring together world-leading experts, universities and organisations to drive forward research and innovation in fighting dementia – a disease that affects an estimated 850,000 in Britain, a figure that’s expected to double in the next 20 years.

The institute will have a central UK hub, with links to universities across the country and will build on the centres of excellence in dementia already operating across the UK. The Medical Research Council will open a competitive process in the new year asking universities to come forward to host the institute itself and will lead the search for a director to head it.

The commitment to form a UK-based institute, was announced by the Prime Minister in his Challenge on Dementia 2020 in February – a long-term strategy focused on boosting research, improving care and further raising public awareness about the disease.

This follows a commitment from G8 health ministers to aim to identify a cure or a disease modifying therapy for dementia by 2025, with the first ever $100 million global Dementia Discovery Fund unveiled by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in March this year.

Once established, the institute will draw together world-leading researchers, charities and universities to take forward 3 key strands of work:

  • accelerate the pace of discovery research in order to boost drug development
  • attract new partnerships with the biopharmaceutical sector to develop new treatments and ways of diagnosing dementia
  • develop and promote strategies for interventions that prevent the development or progression of dementia

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

For far too long this terrible condition has been ignored, down-played or mistaken as a part of the ageing process. When the truth is – dementia is one of the greatest enemies of humanity.

I have been clear that I want Britain to lead the way in tackling this disease. And we have already taken great strides – since 2010 investment in research has doubled, hundreds of thousands of NHS and care staff have had specialist training and more than 1 million dementia friends have taken part in awareness sessions across the country.

This institute is another great step – and will allow us to draw together cutting-edge research tools and expertise to defeat this disease once and for all.

Dementia is widely regarded as representing one of the toughest medical and economic challenges of our society. Beyond the work already underway in the UK, the government has also been working with other countries to tackle this global health challenge.

Notes for editors

The institute will cover the whole of the UK – with the main hub based at a university, along with a partnership of several universities each of which be drawing on their own expertise and linking with local activity.

The institute is expected to be up and running before 2020.