The mentally ill now have the right of choice in the NHS.

Last week in the UK there was a massive change in the law to finally give those suffering from a Mental illness the same rights as everybody else. If you are mentally ill you now have the absolute right to choose who provides your healthcare.
This massive change went largely unreported last week. I am sure that health authorities will try and get out of this but if you are mentally ill you have the right to insist on choosing your own healthcare provider.
This is from the governments own website. I have had trouble in finding very much out about this as the NHS has gone to ground in an attempt to dodge the issue

“A major step forward in this will be giving mental health patients more control over their care. From April, for the first time, patients needing treatment for a mental health problem will be able to choose where they get their care in the same way that someone needing a hip or knee replacement has had a right to choose which hospital to have their operation at since 2008. And the choice will not be limited to an NHS provider – patients will also be able to choose a voluntary or independent organisation providing NHS services when they go to see their GP to seek help.

Key measures include:

Patients will have a choice about where they get their mental health care – just as someone needing an operation can already choose their hospital or the consultant-led team that will care for them.
From next year, waiting time standards will begin to be introduced for mental health – giving mental health patients the same rights as someone who needs, for example, a hip replacement or treatment for cataracts.
The Friends and Family Test – already making a difference in the NHS – will be rolled out to mental health services for the first time so patients can give their own feedback on their care and mental health trusts will be able to take swift action if improvements are needed.
Talking therapies are already helping 600,000 people – this will be expanded so that 300,000 more people will get help.
Children with mental health problems will get more support – including an aim to roll talking therapies for children and young people out to the whole country by 2018 and better support for children moving from adolescent services into adult services.
£43 million will be invested in pilots on better housing for people with mental health problems or learning disabilities. Architects and builders will work with mental health experts and charities to bid for projects next year with the aim of new homes beginning to be built by 2017.
Mental health problems are common and 1 in 4 people experience stress, anxiety and depression at some point in their lives. The cost of mental illness is not just counted in the NHS – it also costs the economy over £105 billion every year. Depression and anxiety alone cost £16.4 billion through NHS treatment and lost earnings. Today, the research institute RAND Europe has published a report commissioned by the government with suggestions for better supporting people with mental health problems in getting back to work, including making sure that our health and employment services work more closely together. The Government is carefully considering the findings of this report and work is already underway to develop options for trials”.

Finally you can all insist on getting the care you want and the care you need. You no longer have to go to your local psychiatric unit or wait a year to see a therapist. Tell your doctor what you want and if you don’t get it then write to your MP and local newspaper. It’s amazing what a bit publicity does and the NHS hate being found out.
Finally the NHS has to treat you with the decency you deserve. In the eyes if the law the mentally ill are equal to everyone else. I wonder if the NHS will see it like that?


About Derbyshire Counselling Service

I am a qualified and experienced counsellor who started working in the field in 1990. I have been seriously ill and almost died from an eating disorder. Anorexia was my best/worst friend for so long. Now it has gone and its time to start again. I want to help others eat their illness. I offer a unique service as i can truly empathise with my clients and help them in a way that almost every other counsellor can not. I saw so many other people suffering so painfully and desperately and i witnessed and suffered some terrible treatments by healthcare professionals. I truly would like to let the world know how much we suffer in silence and try and and these indignities. I was ill for 20 years but my sense of altruism remains as fresh as ever
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