HC Deb 06 July 1993 vol 228 c117W
24. Mr. Bayley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made to improve the health and social functioning of mentally ill people in the past 12 months.

Mr. Bowis

In line with the three strategies set out in "The Health of the Nation", we have taken a number of steps towards improving information and understanding; developing comprehensive local services; and continuing the development of good practice. This includes funding the first national survey of psychiatric illness; issuing the "Mental Illness Key Area Handbook"; distributing good practice guidance on the care programme approach and establishing a mental health task force.

We will be producing a report on activity in the mental illness key area of "The Health of the Nation" in the autumn. A copy will be placed in the Library.

Lady Olga Maitland

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will consider the need for further measures to deal with mental illness within the community care programme with particular reference to schizophrenia.

Mr. Bowis

We introduced the care programme approach in April 1991 to provide better co-ordinated care in the community for people with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. The inclusion of mental illness as one of the five key areas in the Government's strategy for health. "The Health of the Nation" has given impetus to the work being done by health and local authorities to improve community mental health services. "The Health of the Nation" sets a broad and demanding target of improving the health and social welfare of people with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia and builds on the care programme approach.

A departmental review team has been at work since January examining current provisions in the Mental Health Act 1983 for the care in the community of people with serious mental illness. It is considering the need for the introduction of a new power and whether changes in the law are necessary. The review team will report its findings to the Secretary of State in the summer.