Government quells fears it could scrap coalition’s mental health funding pledge

The Conservative government will invest the extra £1.25bn in children’s mental health services over the next parliament that was promised by the coalition prior to the election, the Department of Health has said.

The funding pledge was included in the coalition’s 2015-16 budget proposals set out in March. But the Conservatives election victory means that chancellor George Osborne will announce an ‘emergency budget’ in July that will replace the coalition plans with his party’s own spending commitments.

Magic mushrooms should be used to treat mental health problems, psychiatrist says

Magic mushrooms and LSD should be legally reclassified so they can be used to treat common mental health problems, a leading psychiatrist has said.
James Rucker, honorary lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, said legal restrictions should be lifted on psychedelic drugs, which could provide an effective treatment for anxiety and addictions.
Writing in the BMJ, he said legal restrictions imposed on the medical use of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD and psilocybin, the compound found in “magic” mushrooms, make medical research into their benefits almost impossible.

Mother’s fury as son with mental health problems is moved 270 miles away

A furious mother has condemned mental health officials in Plymouth who moved her teenage son nearly 300 miles without telling any of his family.

She she discovered the troubled 19-year-old had been transferred when she went to visit him and discovered he wasn’t there.

The teenager had been taken from the Glenbourne unit near his family in Plymouth to The Priory Hospital, in Manchester.

Broadmoor nurse sold stories about killers to newspaper

A mental health nurse at Broadmoor high security hospital has admitted selling stories about patients to journalists.

Kenneth Hall, 49, from Bridgwater, Somerset, sold details about killers held at the hospital to the News Of The World and Mirror newspapers.

They included Robert Ashman, who attacked MP Nigel Jones and killed his assistant with a samurai sword in 2000.

Hall pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office at the Old Bailey and will be sentenced next month.

More mental health cuts inevitable without funding reform, warns boss of under-fire trust

Mental health services will be cut further unless the government reforms the NHS funding system to give them a fairer settlement, the boss of an under-fire provider has warned.

Michael Scott, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, told Community Care that the current NHS payment system drove commissioners to divert more funds into acute hospitals at the expense of mental health and community providers. Unless more funding is allocated to mental health, trusts will “simply have to reduce services”, he said.

Lock-Out Privatisation at Manchester Royal Infirmary on Saturday May 30th, from 12pm

On Saturday 30th May, citizens of Manchester are uniting to show their support for the NHS. Padlocks, covered in reasons why individuals love the NHS, will be secured to the gates of MRI from 12 – 1pm. The event ‘Locking-out Privatisation’ is a celebration of everything people love about the NHS, with music, speeches and free food for all who attend.

Mentally ill patients sent home unsupported, experts warn

Pressure to free up mental health beds may be leaving vulnerable people at risk, says a watchdog.

Healthwatch England put in a Freedom of Information request and found psychiatric patients now spend six fewer days in hospital than in 2012-13.

The data, from 32 mental health trusts, shows average number of “bed days” per patient per year has fallen by 10%.

Healthwatch England says some patients are being discharged too early and without enough support.

Chairwoman Anna Bradley said the findings reflect a troubling picture where patients discharged from hospital often struggle to access crisis treatment at home.

Devo Manc: a shrewd political move that keeps Treasury control without the responsibility

Signed by the chancellor, George Osborne, and the leaders of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the latest twist in the Devo Manc agenda was the unique agreement that purported to grant residents “more control over the decisions that affect their lives”. Yet closer inspection suggests a more nuanced picture.

Non-cyclists over 50 sought for study into benefits for mental health

Researchers are calling for volunteers to help with a study into cycling’s effect on mental health.

The University of Reading is looking into the benefits for older people who cycle regularly, and to that end is looking for volunteers over the age of 50 who would not describe themselves as regular cyclists.

Mental health cuts are ‘driving people to the edge’

Mental health cuts are ‘driving people to the edge’
Mark Winstanley, head of the Rethink Mental Illness charity, urges the Conservative government to act on its funding promises and prioritise mental health
The day before last week’s election, leaked minutes from the meeting of a key mental health steering group, the Crisis Care Concordat, warned of an NHS “system failure” that was leading to large numbers of people in mental distress turning to A&E for help, due to inadequate community-based mental health services. Concerns were also raised about how many patients, especially young people, were being admitted to hospitals miles away from home because of mental health bed shortages.