The proposed NHS Constitution will make it a legal right to receive treatments recommended by NICE. This will mark a particularly radical improvement for people affected by mental illness. Right now NICE says people with schizophrenia should be given a choice about medication but a new Rethink survey shows only 33% are actually getting that choice. The vast majority aren't offered any alternatives, and often have to put up with horrible side-effects that might be avoidable.
NICE also recommends people with mental illness should be offered psychological 'talking' therapies, but Rethink's survey shows that just a third of people with schizophrenia have been offered this effective and cost-effective treatment.
By giving people these enforceable rights Lord Darzi really could be on his way to making a difference to mental health - something he has pledged to do by making mental health one of the top six priorities for the NHS.
Paul Corry, Director of Public Affairs, RETHINK
Rethink is the leading mental health membership charity
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