The new mental health ‘czar’ has given his first indications of priorities. They will be to pull together a fractured service that sees too many patients and their families suffer as a result of discontinuity of care.Other urgent priorities outlined by the National Director of Mental Health, Professor Louis Appleby, concentrate on improving the quality of care to the patient.
He has set a high priority on ending as soon as possible the practice of sending patients needing acute admission outside the area where they live when there are no spare beds.
And he wants an end to the outdated practice of mixed sex psychiatric accommodation over the next two years.
He has set a deadline of April 2001 for the provision of 24 hour access to mental health services for patients and carers.