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Standards, quality and accountability - the NHS and mental health: a case for joined-up thinking?

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The proposals for the reform of the Mental Health Act contained in the Draft Mental Health Bill Consultation Document recommend that the Mental Health Act Commission should be abolished and its functions be dispersed; with many of its existing roles being entrusted to the Commission for Health Improvement and its successor body, the Commission for Health Audit and Inspection. These proposals can be seen in terms of the Government's emphasis upon 'joined-up thinking' and can be regarded as being a positive step in terms of aligning scrutiny of standards in relation to mental health, mental disability and physical illness, particularly at a time when prison health care is being brought within the scope of the NHS. Nonetheless, they have come under considerable criticism. This paper charts the development of the proposals in the light of the approach taken to the scrutiny of standards, quality and accountability for health care provision in the NHS today.

Keywords: NHS; mental health; quality; standards

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Leicester

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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