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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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.