Two recent articles, ‘The trouble with NHS psychiatry in England’ and ‘Wake-up call for British psychiatry’ have levelled severe criticisms against the NHS provider systems for people with mental disorders. In response, we argue that such severe criticisms are not fully justified. We propose that there are six areas for debate: ideological matters, policy intentions, empirical questions, operational issues and professional activities. Under this simple six-point taxonomy it might be possible to have a more sophisticated debate about how all parties should work together to achieve the best outcomes for patients.
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