§ Dr. Lynne Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the performance management system for the mental health services works; and to what extent the deficiencies in the care and treatment of Christopher Clunis, described in the Ritchie report, have been remedied.
§ Mr. Bowis
The ten-point plan, which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced last August, outlined a programme of work to improve the care of mentally ill people in the community. The plan includes the introduction of supervision registers, the issuing of new guidance on discharge and new legislation to introduce a supervised discharge for a small number of patients.
The National Health Service Executive is taking action to strengthen its monitoring of community care for severely mentally ill people in line with one of the key recommendations of the Ritchie report. The aim is to ensure that health authorities systematically deliver the care programme approach and other policy commitments in their contracts with service providers and that they work effectively with local authorities and other agencies. A local audit tool for the care programme approach is being produced to provide a clear basis against which health authorities can review local arrangements with their providers and other agencies involved and identify areas for improvement. The NHS executive will follow this up with a national sample audit to ensure that the arrangements are working satisfactorily.
The mental health task force is working with health authorities and other agencies in London to review the arrangements for the management of severely mentally ill people in the community and is helping authorities to develop action plans to address problems which are identified.