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Full metal jacket or the emperor's new clothes?: The National Service Framework for Mental Health

  • Martin Deahl (a1), Brian Douglas (a1) and Trevor Turner (a1)
Extract

Launched with little more than a whimper during the Labour Party Conference the much vaunted National Service Framework for Mental Health (NSF–MH) outlines the Government's ‘ambitious agenda’ for mental health services (Department of Health, 1999a). The official driving force has been the desire to deliver a quality service throughout the whole NHS via clinical governance and underpinned by professional self-regulation. Developed following widespread consultation and with the advice of the External Reference Group (although some of this advice was clearly disregarded), the NSF–MH provides a series of seven core standards with examples of good practice. Although developed with general psychiatry and severe mental illness in mind, the NSF is not quite the ‘National Schizophrenia Framework’ that some envisaged, since it also acknowledges the needs of young people and the influence of developmental factors on adult mental health. The NSF–MH sets standards in five areas: mental health promotion, primary care and access to services, services for the severely mentally ill, caring about carers and preventing suicide. It is only the second to be published (the other being for coronary care) which is hopefully a reflection of the ‘priority’ once more being given to mental health. However, the near-simultaneous appointment of a cancer ‘tsar’ suggests that ‘priority’ is a readily used and easily diluted term.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Full metal jacket or the emperor's new clothes?: The National Service Framework for Mental Health

  • Martin Deahl (a1), Brian Douglas (a1) and Trevor Turner (a1)
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