We are committed to mental health, says Barking and Dagenham NHS

PATIENTS in Barking and Dagenham have become victims of a postcode lottery when it comes to schizophrenia treatments it has been claimed.

People needing treatment for the condition in the borough are potentially less likely to receive the help they need than more affluent places in London according to mental health charities.

Research conducted by Janssen and charities Rethink and SANE shows

Barking and Dagenham spends less than half the amount of top spending Primary Care Trusts in London.

According to the research Barking and Dagenham PCT spend �174,581, compared to Lambeth which spends �361,984.

It also shows that one in three people – 33 per cent - were offered or received at least one counselling session known as cognitive behavioural therapy in 2008-9 in the North East London NHS Foundation Trust area, which covers Barking and Dagenham.

In South London it was 89 per cent, whereas the worst performing was Camden and Islington with 27 per cent.

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NHS Barking and Dagenham mental health commissioning manager Bernard Hannah said: “We are very committed to providing quality mental health services for local people and are very aware that our mental health services must deliver quality for every pound we spend.

“It’s hard to compare spending on mental health between primary care trusts, as there are so many other factors to consider.

“Spending lots of money does not always equal good outcomes for patients.

“Other research has shown that when compared to PCTs with a similar population, our spend on mental health is high and our outcome measures are better than average.”

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity SANE, said: “This spotlight on schizophrenia care reveals a disturbingly wide variation in what treatment is offered, depending on the trust which provides mental health services.

“It is important that people with schizophrenia are able to discuss and choose a package of care suited to their individual needs including medication, psychological and other therapies and treatment in hospital if needed during an acute episode.”