Psychosis patients 'not getting best care'
People experiencing a first episode of psychosis should be seen within two weeks and get a quality care package.
But Liberal Democrat research indicates that while more people are being seen on time, few get the right treatment.
NHS England said "the analysis inevitably gives only a partial and dated picture of progress".
New care and treatment standards for psychosis were introduced by the Department of Health in April 2016.
The rules state at least 50% of people experiencing their first episode of psychosis should start a package of care recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) within a fortnight of being referred.
Norman Lamb, the former Mare Minister who established the care standards, said responses to Freedom of Information requests he had made suggested "the treatment programme is not being properly delivered" in most parts of England.
While official figures show 72% of patients started their treatment within the two-week target in November 2017, Mr Lamb's figures indicate that fewer than a third of mental health trusts in England were able to offer patients the full NICE package of care.
Of the 45 mental health trusts that responded:
◾12 said they were able to provide the full NICE approved treatment
◾24 said they were not
◾five said they were making progress
◾Four didn't provide the information
Mental health: 10 charts on the scale of the problem
Young people explain psychosis on film
'I was offered help two years later'
The typical treatment involves a combination of anti-psychotic medication, psychological therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and family or social support.
"Could we ever imagine a situation where a cancer patient doesn't get the full treatment that the evidence says they need?" asks Mr Lamb rhetorically.
"The impact on peoples' lives of not making this investment is profound.
"You are left with - potentially - a miserable life, a life on benefits, a life with difficult relationships. And yet if we make that investment, we can transform lives."
Read original article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42892630
Conferences of interest:
Clinical Audit for Improvement in Mental Health
Psychosis and Severe Mental Illness: Recovery through Early Interventions