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A report has claimed that millions of pounds were being wasted by not going to the root cause of the people’s health problems.

Date: (18 June 2012)    |    

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It said the scale of neglect of the NHS in mental illness was in scandalous proportions with only quarter of those requiring treatment actually getting it.
The report urged for appointment of special cabinet minister and says 'millions wasted' through lack of proper treatment
The report stated that almost half of all the ill-health suffered by people of working age has a psychological root and was deeply disabling. The report was published by a team of economists, psychologists, doctors and NHS managers, published by the London School of Economics.
Talking therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy relieves anxiety and depression in 40% of those treated, says the Mental Heath Policy Group led by Lord Layard. But despite government funding to train more therapists, availability was erratic with some NHS commissioners not spending the money as intended, and services for children being cut in some areas.
The report said that there were 6 million people with depression or crippling anxiety conditions and 700,000 children with problem behaviours, anxiety or depression, says the report. But three quarters of these groups got no treatment it said.
Layard added that mental health was so important to the health of individuals and of the society that it needed a full time cabinet minister. Despite cost effective treatments and receiving only 13% of NHS expenditure the people suffering from mental illness were getting under-treatment.
Layard said commissioners were wrong with their thinking that it was an infinitely lower priority condition where money could be cut.
Commissioners needed to understand that treating people with mental illness saves money, the report says. Layard pointed to a survey at two London hospitals which found that half the patients sent for an appointment with a consultant had physically inexplicable symptoms, such as chest and head pains for which there was no organic explanation. These people were suffering with somatic symptoms as a result of mental stress, he said.
In the long term he said he would like to see psychologists and therapists working alongside physical medicine doctors in the acute sector, to help determine the real cause of people's apparently inexplicable symptoms.
The care services minister, Paul Burstow, said that he always said that mental illness should be treated as seriously as physical health problems. The coalition government was investing £400m to make sure talking therapies were available to people of all ages who need them. This investment was already delivering remarkable results he said

 

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