01 June 2019

1st June 2000 - First Mental Health Czar


Psychiatry Professor Louis Appleby was appointed the UK Government's first National Director for Mental Health, also known as the Mental Health Czar, from 2000 to 2010. On 1st June 2000 the new Czar set out a program of reform for Mental Health Services. Initially this included:

* mixed sex psychiatric accommodation to be phased out over the next two years
* out of area acute admissions to be eliminated as soon as possible
* 24 hour access to mental health services for patients and carers to be in place by April 2001

Appleby said "Mental health services are still in need of urgent reform. Too often, services are fractured and people fall between the cracks. I am keen to hear directly from patients, families and professionals about their experiences and the changes they would like to see."

Appleby came into the position at a time of expansion in health services, before the 2008 financial crash, and oversaw improvements. He said in an interview that during his time "Investment almost doubled, there were 50% more consultant psychiatrists, 700 new specialised community teams, and the suicide rate fell to its lowest rate for 150 years."

Thanks to the Internet Archive Way Back Machine for the Date.

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