A report published today by the Auditor General for Wales has concluded that little progress has been made in improving the planning and delivery of housing services for people with mental health needs.
Despite clear expectations set out in the Assembly Government’s National Service Framework for adult mental health, the report found that poor progress has been made in delivering the Assembly Government’s targets, strategic planning remains of poor quality, and joint planning between local health, social care and housing service providers was not always effective.
The Assembly Government’s monitoring against the delivery of its housing targets has, the report says, also been ineffective.
Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas, said: “Despite clear targets, it is disappointing that so little progress has been made over the last five years in improving the planning and delivery of housing services for people with mental health needs. Given the importance that access to good housing has on the independence and inclusion of adults with mental health needs, Wales really does need to get to grips with this issue fast.”
An assembly government spokesperson told the BBC: “We are committed to improving services, particularly for those who are vulnerable.
“We will consider the report’s recommendations to decide how best to improve the planning and delivery of housing services for people with mental health needs, which is the focus of the report.
“It is important to note that it does not raise issue with mental health services to individuals.
“The report does not necessarily reflect other areas where there has been substantial progress such as developing crisis resolution and home treatment services.
“Work is already under way to improve planning and delivery. We have also invested in new mental health units for people who require in-patient care and treatment.”
To download a copy of the report ‘Housing services for adults with mental health needs’ please visit: http://www.wao.gov.uk/assets/englishdocuments/Housing_Mental_Health_eng_web.pdf
To read the Welsh Audit Office press release on the report please visit: http://www.wao.gov.uk/news/pressreleases_3735.asp
To view ‘My own home: a client perspective on supported accommodation for people with serious mental illness’, by the Welsh mental health charity Hafal please visit: http://www.hafal.org/hafal/pdf/publications/Housing_English.pdf