NHS Providers response to Centre for Mental Health's report on ICSs

19 October 2021

Responding to Centre for Mental Health's report: Better together: A public health model for mentally healthier integrated care systems (ICSs), the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:

"We strongly support this new report's recognition that it's important for ICSs to focus on delivering parity of esteem between mental and physical health needs.

"There is a vital need for sustained investment beyond the end of the financial year in protecting and promoting people's mental health as well as their physical health.

"The role of wider public services in mental health should not be forgotten either and in particular, public health and social care. These services have a crucial part to play both in preventing mental ill health and avoiding deterioration and need to be adequately supported and resourced.

"This report rightly highlights the need for 'resolute action' to tackle health inequalities, which should be a fundamental priority for the NHS.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

"This report rightly highlights the need for 'resolute action' to tackle health inequalities, which should be a fundamental priority for the NHS.

"But when public perception of the NHS' performance is a key concern, it will require dedication and courage from trust leaders, national bodies such as NHS England and NHS Improvement, and politicians to fulfil the commitment to reducing health inequalities and balance it with the desire to restore performance against operational targets as soon as possible.

"It is also crucial that the health and care workforce is given the necessary support to deliver longer term ambitions for the sector.

"This makes the need for a fully costed and funded national workforce plan for the longer term for the NHS, including the number of staff and skills needed to deliver mental health services, all the more important. An ambitious programme of training and development must sit alongside this.

"There must also be ongoing funding to maintain a strong focus on creating more inclusive and compassionate cultures within the NHS, prioritising staff health and wellbeing, and making the NHS a great place to work."

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