Monday 28 March 2011

Manifestly Sensible

A sneak preview of our Manifesto which will come out later this week. This is based squarely on the realistic and constructive suggestions of our Members who do not demand the earth but do believe that the lives of people with serious mental illness could be transformed if their ideas were taken up. And these ideas would not require investment of huge new resources, though they do need existing resources to be protected.

Here are the three things which patients say they are looking for from candidates and the political parties...

1. Protect funding for mental health

We need candidates’ assurance that they will fully protect resources for mental health, both NHS funding and funding provided to local authorities for mental health social care. We are calling on all candidates and all political parties to ensure that Health Boards and Local Authorities are held to account for their spending on mental health services, that any efficiency savings are re-invested back into mental health and that there is clear and transparent financial reporting of this.

2. Deliver on new mental health law and regulations

The Mental Health (Wales) Measure (the new mental health law) was passed last year with cross-party support. We need candidates’ assurance that the Measure will be delivered in full and that the Regulations and Code of Practice are developed with our rights in mind, ensuring that every person with a serious mental illness has an holistic care plan covering all areas of life.

3. Put patients in the driving seat

Service users and carers know that positive change is only possible if we roll up our sleeves and take charge both of our own circumstances and of wider services. We need candidates’ assurance that they will empower us to choose the services we personally receive and also to have a full say in developing policy and commissioning mental health services.

I will publish links to all our election stuff shortly.