Third of patients have no information on side effects of psychiatric medication

One third of mental health service users living in the community are receiving no information on the side effects of their medication.

A national review of of adult specialist community mental health services in England also reported that almost a third of service users do not know who their care co-ordinator is.

However, the reviewers said since the introduction of the government’s national service framework for mental health in 1999 there has been a “steady improvement” in the range and quality of adult community mental health services.

The review, carried out by the Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection, assessed 174 local implementation teams around England. The teams are responsible for making sure that the service framework is administered.

In a separate development, the mental health charity Rethink has said a person diagnosed with mental illness has 10 times less spent on their care and treatment than a patient with cancer.

The charity says the low funding of mental health means people are unable to access treatment, such as psychological therapies.

Last month, reported that people in Derbyshire are having to wait up to three-and-a-half years for psychological therapy. The government has, however, launched 13 new psychological therapy centres for people with depression and anxiety around England in the last year.

Rethink has submitted a review of mental health funding by the London School of Economics to the government.

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