Hart: “Still some way to go before mental health services achieve consistently acceptable standards”

Health and Social Services Minister Edwina Hart AM has welcomed the National Assembly for Wales’ Health Wellbeing and Local Government Committee’s “Inquiry into Community Mental Health Services”.

The report, which was published in September, made 28 wide-ranging recommendations all of which the Minister publicly accepted at a plenary meeting to discuss the inquiry which was held in the Senedd on Wednesday.

During the debate the Minister said: “I welcome the committee’s report and I agree with its overall conclusion that, although there have been improvements to mental health services over the last few years, there is still some way to go before services achieve consistently acceptable standards across Wales.”

During the debate a number of AMs including Jonathan Morgan, whose proposed mental health Legislative Competence Order will be debated in the Senedd next Wednesday, spoke about the Committee’s endorsement of the benefits of an holistic recovery model.

The Committee’s Chair, Darren Millar, said: “Mental ill health, more than any other condition, requires a holistic approach that encompasses much more than medical treatment. The challenge for mental health services is to respond to the needs of service users in a way that meets the multiplicity of individual needs and empowers service users to take a measure of control over their own lives. However, mental health services have historically been service led and medically focused and have not always placed the wishes of the user at centre stage.

“The recovery model aims to address mental health and wellbeing needs in a personalised and empowering way, and the committee was impressed by its potential to help address the needs of those with mental health issues.”

To read a transcript of the debate please visit: http://www.assemblywales.org/bus-home/bus-chamber/bus-chamber-third-assembly-rop.htm?act=dis&id=155610&ds=12/2009#5

To read the Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee report into community mental health services in Wales please visit: http://www.assemblywales.org/cr-ld7697