Earlier this week, Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, followed up a call from local MP Johnny Mercer, to improve the way in which Clinical Commissioning Groups are held accountable to the wider public.
The change was first suggested by Mr Mercer early in December last year, while at a briefing on the 5 Year Forward View, chaired by the Health Secretary’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, James Morris MP.
Speaking during Monday’s debate regarding the NHS’ ‘patchy record’ for ensuring money promised for mental health reaches the frontline, the Health Secretary, said he intends to create “independently compiled Ofsted-style ratings for every CCG in the country that highlight where mental health provision is inadequate. Those ratings are decided by an independent committee chaired by Paul Farmer, who is responsible for the independent taskforce report”.
On hearing the Health Secretary’s statement, the Moor View MP, said:
“This is a positive move from the Department of Health as it is time we looked much more closely at mental health provision and so-called parity of esteem. We need to be saying to ourselves, ‘is care good enough, is it the same as physical health and if not, why not’.
“Other departments already use this reporting back method and it is particularly useful in monitoring employment levels within the constituency. This should hopefully give elected officials across the country the information to better hold CCGs to account for the benefit of their constituents.”
This follows a camapign since Mr Mercer’s election to ensure that mental spending achieves ‘parity of esteem’ when compared against spending on physical health.