Responding to Lib Dem Health Spokesperson, Daisy Cooper’s announcement that Lib Dems would introduce mental health MOTs if they got into government at the next general election, Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation said:
“Our country is experiencing a national mental health emergency where NHS leaders tell us too many of their patients are ending up at the point of crisis in need of hospital care when they could have been supported at an earlier stage.
“This is harmful to mental health patients for whom this is rarely the right environment, as well as for other patients who may need these beds.
“The proposal to introduce mental health MOTs would help to alleviate this to an extent, although it will no doubt uncover more unmet need to add to an already extensive waiting list. So, success will be dependent on there being the staff and additional funding to deliver this extra work as primary care and other services in the community are also fraying at seams.
“A fundamental shift of resource to more services in the community is needed to help to prevent patients from reaching the point of crisis. This will have benefits for patients themselves, and for the economy by keeping more people in the workforce.
“Alongside that, our members are clear there needs to be a cross government review of what is contributing to the country’s worsening mental health, for example covering social housing, education, and employment, so that we can protect the population and protect the NHS for future generations.”