What a pity that mental health stats are not universal and comparative. The limitations of the smaller mutuals (Wales Scotland and N Ireland) are exposed…. What can save theservices?

James Gallagher for the BBC news 25th Feb reports: Maps reveal schizophrenia ‘hotspots’ in England

GP prescriptions

Maps have revealed “hotspots” of schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses in England, based on the amount of medication prescribed by GPs.

What is the state of mental health in England and Wales? What a pity that this mapping is not universal.  The limitations of the smaller mutual: (Wales Scotland and N Ireland) are exposed. One measure of a society being civilised is how it looks after mental health and disability. A two tier system is arriving, and Andrew Holdenby in The Telegraph seems to support it being official.

Around 16% of adults have a common mental disorder. Find out more about how these conditions are affecting England and Wales

Almost one in four people are subject to some sort of psychiatric disorder

The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) in 2007 was the most comprehensive look at how many people were suffering from mental health issues at that time in England and Wales.

Although the data is relatively old it is the latest government-backed comprehensive national study of mental health available. NatCen is currently putting together a newer edition.

23% of adults screened positive for at least one of the conditions under study. Of those that did 19.1% had two conditions while 12.2% had three or more.

Psychiatric disorders in this case applies to things like generalised anxiety disorder, mixed anxiety and depressive disorder, and obsessive and compulsive disorder.

In the week before the survey, 16.2% of adults had a common mental disorder (CMD)

The list of CMDs includes several types of depression and anxiety. These are ones that cause distress and problems for people in their daily lives but do not affect their ability to think rationally.

Women were more likely than men to have a CMD at 19.7% and 12.5% respectively. Only for panic disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder do women not have significantly higher rates than men.


Out of the adults tested, 7.5% had CMDs of such a level of severity that the person required treatment.

Nearly 1.6m people in contact with specialist mental health services in England during 2012/13

The latest mental health service bulletin from HSCIC showed that approximately one adult in every 27 in England was in contact with these services. When breaking the users down by gender 705,000 of them were male while 885,000 were female, which is a 44:56 split.


The largest age group in 10 year bands was 40-49 year olds, who make up 16% of the total number of mental health service users.

Self-harm in 2012/13: 96,900 inpatient care episodes………

The last mental health bulletin was the first to include data on self-harm. In 2012/13 there were 96,900 instances where someone received care in hospital (inpatient care).

Only blasphemers who do not worship at the altar of our sacred NHS can save it – Andrew Haldenby in The Telegraph 27th Feb 2017

Every one of us benefits from the work of the MPs on the Public Accounts Committee even if, as I suspect, few of us have ever heard of it. There is nothing in British public life quite like the PAC, which inspires a healthy fear among ministers and senior civil servants because they know it is one of the very few bodies that will hold them to account for their decisions.

Its job is to measure how government spends money on our behalf. Its current inquiries, for example, will tell the taxpayer how much foreign aid is lost to fraud and by how much the Ministry of Defence will overspend its budget for military kit and equipment. Sometimes, however, we need the committee to be braver. On some questions, it needs to go beyond asking whether a policy is succeeding in its own terms. It needs to ask whether government needs an entirely new approach. ……


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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