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Schizophrenia costs society 11.8 billion pounds a year, says LSE PSSRU report

Schizophrenia costs society £11.8 billion a year, much of which could be spent more effectively, according to an LSE PSSRU report.

The report highlights the disparity between the money spent on people with physical illness and those with mental illness; only 13% of the NHS budget goes towards treating mental ill health, even though 23% of conditions dealt with by the NHS are mental rather than physical.mental health

It also expresses concerns that highly effective early intervention treatment teams are being cut in some areas; these are estimated to save the NHS £16,000 per person over the first three years of their illness.

The report fed into the Schizophrenia Commission, established in 2011 by the charity Rethink Mental Illness, to carry out an independent inquiry into the state of care for people with schizophrenia and psychosis in England. It has called for a radical overhaul of care. The commission is made up of 14 leading health and social care figures, including Martin Knapp, Professor of Social Policy and Director of LSE’s Personal Social Services Research Unit.

Professor Knapp, who gave oral evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee and a presentation at a meeting in the European Parliament, said: "Schizophrenia is a highly distressing illness which can devastate people’s lives. But not only are the human costs immense, but also the financial costs. In our report we set out these costs, but we mainly focus on interventions. There is a strong economic case for many effective interventions that, if made more widely available, could lead to better outcomes and reduce costs."

NOTES TO EDITORS

To read the report: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/LSEHealthAndSocialCare/pdf/LSE-economic-report-FINAL-12-Nov.pdf|.

For more information on the Schizophrenia Commission, please contact Rachel Whitehead, Media Manager for Rethink Mental Illness on 0207 840 3138 or email rachel.whitehead@rethink.org|

Posted 14 November 2012

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