HC Deb 20 May 2002 vol 386 cc147-9W
Harry Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what new proposals and additional resources he plans to allocate to deal with mental ill health and(a) drug use, (b) ethnic minority communities and (c) children and youth; and if he will make a statement. [55804]

Jacqui Smith

The mental health national service framework (NSF), published 1999, is a 10-year programme which sets out national standards for mental health. The NHS Plan built on the NSF and provided over £329 million by 2004 to fast forward the NSF and deliver our NHS Plan commitments. Plans for mental ill health are:

  1. (a) drug use—include every health authority area having received a 30 per cent. increase in funding for the drug treatment pool budget for 2002–03 for drug treatment. The national treatment agency for substance misuse are working to reduce drug treatment waiting times around the country to ensure that all drug users who need access to treatment services will receive it. A good practice guide has also been published on dual diagnosis;
  2. (b) ethnic minority communities—a strategy on black and minority ethnic mental health is currently being prepared and will be sent out for consultation later this year; and
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  4. (c) children and youth—a strategy for the development of child and adolescent mental health services is on-going with the aim of improving the overall quality and accessibility of local services for children and young people with mental health problems. £85 million has been invested over the last three years across the NHS and local authorities, with each agency receiving funding. A further £20 million is being allocated to local authorities this year.

Dr. Gibson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the increased spending earmarked for mental health has been allocated in the current year. [55628]

Jacqui Smith

The increased funding of £75 million allocated to health authorities in 2002–03, earmarked for mental health, was allocated with baseline health authority allocations. A detailed description how health authority allocations are calculated can be found in the health service circular ref: HSC 2001–024 Health Authority Revenue resource 2002–03.

Dr. Kumar

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 29 April 2002,Official Report, column 622W, on mental health, if he will make a statement on the range of initiatives being introduced to address issues of inequalities in access to mental health services for people from Asian, black and minority ethnic groups with special reference to how such initiatives are being developed and implemented; and where and when professionals and members of the public can learn more. [55999]

Jacqui Smith

Addressing inequalities in access for minority ethnic groups is recognised as a crucial issue for mental health services. Consultation documents on the black and minority ethnic mental health and women's mental health strategies will be published later this year.

Following publication of these documents, the Department will be consulting with a wide range of key stakeholders, including service users and carers and representative organisations, to develop final implementation strategies.

The strategies will be placed on the Department's website when published.

Also, to assist implementation of mental health policy the National Institute for Mental Health for England (NIMHE) will develop targeted programmes aimed at assisting change within service and improving access to services. NIMHE will disseminate good practice and create and share developing evidence through its research development centres.

Mr. Heald

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of the primary care mental health workers he intends to recruit will work in children's and adolescents' services; and if he will make a statement setting out his plans for the recruitment of extra primary care mental health workers for children and adolescents [56323]

Jacqui Smith

[holding answer 14 May 2002]The NHS Plan said that by 2004 "one thousand new graduate primary care mental health workers trained in brief therapy techniques of proven effectiveness will be employed to help general practitioners manage and treat common mental health problems in all age groups, including children". Additional financial resources for their appointment are planned for next year. This year we are concentrating on the establishment of training programmes to support them.

Last year the NHS Modernisation Fund allocated million of targeted funding to improve child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) at primary care level (which could include the recruitment of primary care mental health workers) in accordance with the national CAMHS development strategy. Preliminary results from Departmentally-commissioned research into CAMHS in Primary Care indicate that one third of provider trusts have already developed primary mental health worker posts and one quarter had plans to do so.