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.
Police in England and Wales detained 202 vulnerable under-18s under the Mental Health Act, some for more than two days, despite widespread condemnation of the practice. Hampshire police held a 17-year-old girl for 63 hours and 40 minutes, while Nottinghamshire police held a 16-year-old girl for 52 hours.
Responding to the figures, Marjorie Wallace, the chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, said: “It is quite unacceptable that anyone suffering from a mental health condition, especially a young person, should treated as a criminal.
CCGs and local authorities have invested £2.4 million in an online webtool for patients to ‘self manage’ their mental health.
The webtool, expected to launch in the autumn, will be commissioned led by NHS Tower Hamlets CCG, but will be available to patients in all of London. It has been jointly funded by all of the CCGs and the local authorities.
The tool, that will be available on both desktop and mobile platforms will give patients access to online information and support, while being monitored by mental health professionals.
It is designed to cut costs and reduce pressure on other services, CCG leaders said, as a recent report by the Greater London Authority revealed that poor mental health costs London a total of £26bn each year including health and social care to treat illness, benefits to support people living with mental ill health, costs to education services and the criminal justice system, and issues such as reduced productivity and quality of life.