The result of our commission has been a year-long inquiry and consolidation of evidence.
What needs to change?
We propose priority actions to transform the lives of those affected by schizophrenia and psychosis.
Our 42 detailed recommendations include:
- A radical overhaul of poor acute care units including better use of alternatives to admission like recovery houses to manage the transition between hospital and community services
- Greater partnership and shared decision making with service users – valuing their experiences and making their preferences central to a recovery focused approach adopted by all services
- Better prescribing and a right to a second opinion on medication involving, where appropriate, a specialist pharmacist
- Extending general practitioner training in mental illness to improve support for those with psychosis managed by primary care
- Extending the popular Early Intervention for Psychosis services (not cutting or diluting)
- Increasing access to psychological therapies in line with NICE guidelines
- Delivering effective physical health care to people with severe mental illness
- A stronger focus on prevention including clear warnings about the risks of cannabis
- Action to address inequalities and meet the needs of all disadvantaged groups
- A better deal for long-term carers who should be treated as partners
- Greater use of personal budgets, particularly for those with long-term care need
- Psychiatrists must be extremely cautious in making a diagnosis of schizophrenia as it can generate stigma and unwarranted pessimism
See the full set of recommendations – download (PDFs) from www.rethink.org
The economic costs
Our commission was careful to consider the societal costs of schizophrenia. An economic report by the London school of Economics was produced in tandem with our report.
I have focused on what the lived experience people have said and tried to give some analysis of this, leading to what I think we need to action in terms of effectively improving outcomes for people with schizophrenia or psychosis.