To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 20 March 2014, Official Report, columns 725-6W, on mental health services, what critical steps were set out at the third Choice in the Mental Health Workshop on 12 March 2014; and if he will publish the minutes of that workshop and the programme that emerged from it.
The legal right to choice of provider is extended to mental health services from
Officials from the Department and NHS England co-chaired a series of workshops with key partners from across the mental health system during February and March to prioritise the development of guidance for commissioners, providers and general practitioners (GPs). This will help patients and professionals understand the new right, and utilise the existing systems, pricing and payment arrangements, and processes to implement it. The workshops were not minuted. Officials have also updated the Choice Framework, which provides information to patients on their rights to choice.
Further workshops are planned with mental health providers to help them make information about their services available to patients and GPs to support informed choice. Officials will continue to work with NHS England and key partners to embed patients' rights to choice in mental health by 2015, as set out in the NHS Mandate. The guidance and Choice Framework will be published shortly.