Mental Illness Care: 7th September 2010

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
15. What mechanisms are in place to assess the effectiveness of assertive outreach teams in providing support for people with severe mental illness; and if he will make a statement. [13161]

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Mr Paul Burstow)
The Department of Health has issued guidance on the key components of an effective assertive outreach team. It is for each local trust to put in place robust quality assurance arrangements to ensure that it delivers the high-quality and effective service that the public expect. That is further underpinned by the work of the Care Quality Commission.

Anna Soubry
I am grateful to the Minister for his response. One of my constituents, William Barnard, who was profoundly mentally ill, went on to kill his grandfather as a result of the poor system that was operating in relation to his care. What progress has been made in ensuring that other teams do not suffer from the same failings in their systems?

Mr Burstow
The hon. Lady and I debated this issue in the Chamber back in July. One of the most concerning aspects of the case of William Barnard was a singular failure to listen to the concerns expressed by family members and carers on the part of those who could have taken the necessary action to improve matters. I continue to take a close interest in the investigations being undertaken by the local NHS. We want to ensure that when lessons can be learned nationally, they are reflected in the Government’s forthcoming mental health policies.