NHS Hot Topics 2017: Mental Health

NHS Hot Topics_ Mental Health

Welcome to our new series on NHS Hot Topics 2017! These blogs will cover one recent piece of medical news or ethical issues surrounding a topic in detail.

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Mental health is a growing issue in today’s society, with 1 in 6 people experiencing a common mental health problem every week. At 14, 50% of mental health problems are established, increasing to 75% by the age of 24.

A survey found that common mental health problems were most prevalent in certain groups of the population, including black women, people receiving benefits, and cigarette smokers.

Despite more people accessing treatment, a third of people with issues such as anxiety or depression have sought no professional help. With men, young people and BAME groups being less likely to receive treatment, just how good are these services?

NHS Mental Health Services

NHS funding of mental health services has been cut in several regions, despite government promises to transform NHS services. Ethical implications of this include vulnerable people facing a ‘postcode lottery’ over treatment, with a freedom of information request revealing stark differences: South Cheshire spends just 5% on MH services, compared to 16% in Lewisham.

NHS mental health services are in need of better commissioning at a local level, as well as more transparency about how CCGs (clinical commissioning groups) spend their money.

With such changes, progress would still occur slowly, with results taking a while to show. It takes a long time to train healthcare professionals in more effective ways to provide this healthcare.

What can we expect?

NHS England has future plans including:

These changes will be implemented by methods, such as:

Reform of commissioning

Expansion of the workforce

A single national programme management team

What could you be asked in your interview about Mental Health Services?

Words: Toyin Jesuloba

Want to get clued up on other hot topics? Read more from our series below:


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