PLANS to introduce minimum waiting times for those suffering from mental health issues have been welcomed by the UK’s largest care and support provider.
Home Group has welcomed an announcement that the Government will ensure people suffering from depression or psychosis will start treatment within set time limits from April next year.
In addition Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is expected to tell delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference that his party will increase funding for mental health services, and guarantee minimum waiting times for other forms of mental illness, should they form a Government following next year’s general election.
The decision is long overdue according Rachael Byrne, the head of the UK’s largest provider of care and support services.
Mrs Byrne, Home Group executive director of care and support, said: “It’s quite right that mental health issues be given parity with physical health issues and that firm targets are set in which people should receive help.
“We wouldn’t tolerate vague consultation dates for someone with suspected cancer or heart disease, yet until now that position has been accepted for mental health. Mental health issues can at their most serious be just as life threatening.”
Home Group’s care and support division has decades of experience of helping people who are living with mental health issues. The not-for profit organisation has a number of specialist accommodation based mental health services and also provides services where clients have less acute mental health issues.
Mrs Byrne added: “Mental health issues can affect anyone and ensuring that people receive the specialist support they need much earlier will not only save lives but it will ensure that people can recover more quickly and continue to maintain relationships and lead independent productive lives.”