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S07 - Statement from the Department of Health Watch

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    Statement of Intent from the Department of Health

    Department of Health
    Secretary of State: The Rt Hon. Kay_Winters MP

    Mental Health Services

    It is the view of this Government that mental health services are failing those who are most vulnerable. From Children who are receiving sub par treatment from CAMHS, to adults who are suffering from highly stigmatised mental illnesses, and then are treated like second class patients when they have the courage to try and get help. Therefore this Government pledges to increasing funding on mental health services by £5.82bn (5% of 2015 NHS budget) to help provide better treatment and care for those who need it most desperately. One way we will do this is by directing the increased funds towards bringing in more mental health nurses so those who need help can be seen more quickly, with some currently waiting months for appointments. Furthermore CAMHS centres will directly benefit with funds being injected into adolescent mental health care, this will result in more mental health nurses and therapists receiving training on how to talk to and help children and teenagers, as well as more CAMHS centres opening in areas where the demand on the current services in the area. On top of the funds going to CAMHS, a portion of the £5.82bn shall go to NHS services which support universities to make sure students get as much help as possible as possible on, or close to, campus, both in terms of their physical health and their mental health.

    It is also the view of this Government however that simply giving the mental health services more money won’t remedy this issue, therefore we plan to introduce mental health to the National Curriculum to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health from an early age. Statistics show that 1 in 10 young children have a mental health disorder, and it is the difficult period of transition between Primary and Secondary school where many young people may start to experience mental health issues. By introducing mental health to the National Curriculum we hope not only to combat the stigma around all mental health disorders, and to encourage people to come forward when they experience mental health issues so the help they need can be given to them before their mental health deteriorates any further.


    Hospital Bed Epidemic and Accident & Emergency

    This Government plans to set up numerous wards in order to care for those with debilitating illnesses, such as dementia, cancer or deafblind people. This investment will help ease the pressure off existing hospital wards and accident and emergency (A&E), freeing up beds in both A&Es and across hospitals for patients who otherwise would not be able to receive treatment. These wards will hold 100 long term patients each, and have capacity for a further 50 short term patients.

    Furthermore this Government plans to trial a new system whereby patients who are discharged are brought home by a transport company, which creates relatively unskilled labour in the form of drivers, and then the patients are treated at home by care workers till they have a complete recovery.The reason behind trialling this new system is simply that we have a bed epidemic across NHS, and while the long term solution will involve much greater funding for the NHS, something the Chancellor James Milibanter acknowledges and has provided for, this is a way in which to help free beds for those with more acute illnesses, while still offering the best possible service to those who need care and attention but are not severely ill. This new system will, if successful, be part of the NHS service, and deliver both the care and transportation aspects of the system on the NHS.

    Alcohol misuse advertisement

    From 2003/4 and 2013/14 the number of alcohol specific admissions to hospital increased by 63.9%, and between 2008/9 and 2013/14 A&E attendance rates for believed alcohol poisoning increased from 72.2 per 100,000 population to 148.8 per 100,000, and increase of around 100%. Alcohol misuse is thought to be costing the UK economy close to £7.3 Billion a year, it is the view of this Government that this £7.3bn could be put to far better use, both internally within the NHS, and externally in areas such as education and social security.

    Because of these disturbing statistics the Government intends to run an advertisement campaign consisting of a 30 second television advertisement, made by the Department of Health, on the dangers of misusing alcohol. This is to be aired both on BBC 1 and Channel 4, with the advertisement being shown before BBC News at 6 and Channel 4 News at 7. The advertisement will be shown over a sustained period of time to maximise the number of people who see the message. Finally the cost of airing the advertisement will be nothing as both the BBC and Channel 4 are publicly owned entities.Additionally, as with mental health, the Government believes starting young is the best way forward and as such dangers of misusing alcohol will be added to the National Curriculum to be taught to Year 7s, Year 9s and Year 11s, telling them age appropriate case studies of the dangers of excessive drinking, such as alcohol poisoning and liver damage, and what it does to the body. It is hoped that this change to the National Curriculum will help encourage responsible drinking, and reduce the number of young people admitted to hospital for alcohol related causes, and in the long run help reduce the £7.3 Billion figure spent on alcohol misuse.


    Tackling Childhood Obesity

    It is the view of this Government that more must be down to tackle obesity, especially childhood obesity. The first method we shall use to achieve this is to increasing our partnership with MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition… Do it!), currently the Department of Health is only a funding partner for the West Midlands, we plan to change this and become a full funding partner for the entire Country. This will help provide more MEND sessions for youngsters who are overweight, while also teaching them, and their parents about how to lead healthier lifestyles. On top of this the increase in funding will go towards MEND’s research where they come up with innovative new ways to encourage healthier lifestyles. Additionally while the Welsh Assembly is a funding partner, the Scottish Government isn’t, therefore the Scottish Government shall also become a funding partner in MEND. This is along with the Department for Work and Pensions who are already a funding partner.

    Although this is a step in the right direction, it is is not the giant leap. So on top of increasing our funding partnership with MEND this Government plans to increase the time allocated for Physical Education in primary schools. This will get children taking part in more exercise, and as a result make them more active, helping to reduce. childhood obesity. This is along side making it compulsory for schools to offer cooking clubs for students. Furthermore primary schools will offer cooking clubs for parents to take part in as well, teaching pupils and parents alike how to prepare healthy, nutritional food. Additionally food technology, as part of design and technology, will be given a greater emphasis in secondary schools, and teachers will be encouraged to spend more lesson time in food technology talking about the benefits of eating healthy and teaching students how to cook cheap, healthy meals.

    Finally the Department of Health is going to trial a new system in the South East of England where primary school students are given health check ups at the start of the school year, the results of these check ups are kept confidential between the school and parents. While this allows the school to keep up to date records on pupils health, in case of emergencies it will also be used to combat childhood obesity. Should the nurse overseeing the health check up be concerned or worried about a pupil’s weight their parents or guardians will be asked to attend an anonymous session about healthy lifestyle and healthy eating, and the risks of not being healthier. Should the pupil’s parents or guardians miss the session without providing a valid reason they will be fined £30. If this trial is successful then this new system will be rolled out across the UK in an effort to help prevent childhood obesity.

    Summary

    Overall my plans will increase funding and awareness of mental health issues by increasing the funding for mental health services, and also by teaching the next generation about mental health issues from a young age.

    Secondly I shall set up numerous more specialist wards holding 150 patients each, this will help ease the pressure being faced elsewhere in the NHS, and give a superior service to those with debilitating illnesses compared to what they currently have access to.

    Additionally the new care system to ease pressure on hospital beds, allowing those with more acute illnesses, while not sacrificing on levels of care for those who still need our NHS. This is something I foresee this service being a successful investment in the future of our NHS.

    The £7.3bn being used on alcohol related admissions to hospital is simply too high, and as such greater emphasis shall be put on the risks of alcohol in schools, and also advertisements will air to tell or reminded people of the dangers of excessive drinking.

    The Department of Health, and the Scottish Parliament will both become funding partners of MEND in order to help increase services of MEND so that more people can be trained, and more children and parents can be helped to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle.

    This Government shall also be increasing the number of hours of Physical Education done by primary school pupils, and make it mandatory for schools to have a cooking club for both pupils and parents. Additionally food technology will be given a greater emphasis.

    Finally health check ups on primary school students will be trialled in the South East of England, with compulsory sessions for parents or guardians should the Nurses be worried about a child’s weight.
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    The Health Secretary seems to have forgotten entirely about their arbitrary budget boost.

    The second section is very vague and doesn't really tell us anything

    The obesity and alcohol sections will likely be ineffective, and I would say that the advertisements before the news will be ineffective for two reasons, first the sort of people you want to target will likely not be watching anyway, and second people will just fast forwards through or zone out whilst they're on.

    The whole thing is uncosted.

    All in all, whilst better than what we've had recently, still not great and it would be nice to actually see some costing for this since the impression is being given that we can do all this on top of what we already do with no extra cost and no reduction in QoS.
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    Aye. I commend the Rt Honourable Gentlewoman for her work!
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    Is there a tl;dr? I mean a summary.
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    (Original post by Life_peer)
    Is there a tl;dr? I mean a summary.
    How about the Summary?
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    (Original post by PetrosAC)
    How about the Summary?
    Summary of a summary.
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    (Original post by Life_peer)
    Is there a tl;dr? I mean a summary.

    TL;DR:
    Let's cram the National Curriculum with lessons that could be better spent on teaching maths, English, a foreign language or some other useful things.

    I agree with the P.E bit though, the rest is a bit naff.
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    (Original post by James Milibanter)
    Aye. I commend the Rt Honourable Gentlewoman for her work!
    I think you will find the word you're looking for is Lady, and the term you're looking for is Hon.
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    (Original post by Life_peer)
    Summary of a summary.
    Ah. I'm afraid I don't have one of those. It looks like you're going to have to persevere
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    I think you will find the word you're looking for is Lady, and the term you're looking for is Hon.
    I don't believe in sexism, what makes men any more gentle than women?
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    (Original post by Wellzi)
    TL;DR:
    Let's cram the National Curriculum with lessons that could be better spent on teaching maths, English, a foreign language or some other useful things.

    I agree with the P.E bit though, the rest is a bit naff.
    I don't think the PE will actually be that effective, primary school is when it is needed least and where the most help will come from home, not the school.
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    (Original post by James Milibanter)
    I don't believe in sexism, what makes men any more gentle than women?
    The terms are gentleman and Lady and has nothing to do with gentleness.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    The terms are gentleman and Lady and has nothing to do with gentleness.
    Yet men are still referred to as gentle and women not.
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    Does it fall within the Secretary's remit to amend the national curriculum?
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    (Original post by James Milibanter)
    Yet men are still referred to as gentle and women not.
    That's because Gentleman is the lowest tier of the gentry, and the equivalent on the female side is lady, and convertible with nobilis. Gentle from the old French genterie, from gentil meaning "high born" or "noble". In the same way a former member of the armed forces if "the Honourable and gallant Memeber", barristers "the Honourable and Learned", a male member is "the (Right) Honourable Gentleman the Member for...", a female "the (Right) Honourable lady the member for..." or either simply as "the ([Right] Honourable) Member for..." or by their ministerial position if held.
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    (Original post by PetrosAC)
    Ah. I'm afraid I don't have one of those. It looks like you're going to have to persevere
    Nah, in fact I didn't read the headings properly so it was my mistake (I don't want to be like the scumbag who never admits when he's wrong even though my response was meant to be a ‘joke’).
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    (Original post by James Milibanter)
    I don't believe in sexism, what makes men any more gentle than women?
    I think your misinterpreting the terms...

    No need to have your PC mode on constantly
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    (Original post by Life_peer)
    Nah, in fact I didn't read the headings properly so it was my mistake (I don't want to be like the scumbag who never admits when he's wrong even though my response was meant to be a ‘joke’).
    I know. I was just unnecessarily being a d*ck so sorry about that
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    (Original post by Wellzi)
    I think your misinterpreting the terms...

    No need to have your PC mode on constantly
    I was winding him up.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    I don't think the PE will actually be that effective, primary school is when it is needed least and where the most help will come from home, not the school.
    Perhaps not. Tbh, for a school to whip kids into shape they would need to be allowed army level discipline, which of course they aren't.
 
 
 
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