Opening Public Services: A mental health view?

If any of you were following the news yesterday, you may have noticed a major story unfolding.  No, not phone hacking, but David Cameron’s launch of the Open Public Services white paper.

Much delayed, the Open Public Services white paper is this government’s vision of how public services will be delivered in future.

In many respects it is similar to the NHS Reform Bill which has just finished its ‘pause’.  It sets out five principles that will guide public service reform.

These are:

  • Providing more choice
  • Shifting power from the centre
  • Ensuring diversity
  • Guaranteeing fair access
  • Delivering accountability

This is the government finally getting to the gristle of what a Big Society might look like.

But what does this mean for mental health?  It’s something that we’ve been thinking about since December 2010.  The eagle-eyed amongst you who have both been reading this blog and have been keeping up with the constant flow of government policies may have noticed that we’ve been saying stuff that has now become pretty relevant to what we who are concerned about making sure the mental health needs of people are met might do next.

Here’s three videos of me speaking about what the Big Society might mean for mental health that I did for the Mental Health Providers Forum’s Lightbox project, with links to some of the most relevant posts from this blog.

Our thinkpiece on mental health and Big Society commissioned by the NHS Confederation is scheduled for publication at the end of this month.  If you’d like a peek at a draft email

Here’s me:

In many ways, our conference in May was about this question too.  There’s a write up and video here

Here’s some relevant posts from this blog and from One in Four:

So what about the Big Society thing? From One in Four Winter 2010

Mental Health and Big Society: Opportunities?

Where is the frontline in Mental Health?

What do Red Tory Big Society ideas mean for mental health?

Who should pay for mental health?

‘Walking in two directions’: A mental health and Big Society dilemma

Adventures in mental health and Big Society: Making stuff happen

Risk – an idea big enough to stop change in its tracks

Seven steps to changing the world: Article from One in Four winter 2010 examining ways to start and run your own projects or ‘How to change the world, Do-it-Yourself style!’

A more measured response to the white paper itself in the next few days!

Mark Brown is the editor of One in Four magazine.

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2 Responses to Opening Public Services: A mental health view?

  1. Pingback: Opening up to what? | Beanbags and Bullsh!t

  2. people in london on benefits are being seriously screwed over right now. __ whether something is in the pipeline or not, __ people are being screwed in the here and now. __ the government has made the f*$king awful decision of grouping everyone on benefits into one big pot. — disabled people ARE different from those seeking work. __ people are taking hits of over £300 a week in benefits right now, as Osborn imposes his Housing benefit cap.

    __ note to editor: (if you’d like me to write something on this then please say) (I would love to …)


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