NHS Constitution consultation: ACP responds as part of We Need to Talk coalition

The ACP has helped with a joint response by the We Need to Talk Coalition, of which it is a member, to a new consultation on how to strengthen the NHS Constitution.

The Department of Health-led initiative asked respondents to consider a number of main issues including the changes recommended by the inquiry into the failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, giving greater prominence to mental health and making reference to a more transparent and accountable NHS.

In response to the consultation's questions regarding mental health, the Coalition said it agreed with the proposed change to fully treat mental health as equally as physical health in the NHS constitution, adding "we would also expect this amendment to include ensuring parity of esteem between services and treatment available for children and young adults".

The response continues to say: "However, while the WNTT coalition fully welcomes the intent behind the statement that the NHS is designed to address mental and physical health needs with equal regard, this is unfortunately yet reality. It is important to set a clear commitment and intent without suggesting that the policy and implementation infrastructures are currently in place.

"There is considerable development required with regard to data development, payment systems, rights of access and clarity and quality of treatment before we start to see parity in practice."

You can read the Coalition's response to the consultation, which ends on 11 March, below.