1. ITV Report

Schizophrenia care falling 'catastrophically short'

File Photo: Experts warn over poor care for people with Schizophrenia Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Care for people with schizophrenia and psychosis is falling "catastrophically short" according to a new report by the Schizophrenia Commission

Schizophrenia affects more than 220,000 people in England and an estimated one in six people will experience some symptoms of psychosis at some stage in their lives, according to the report.

The Commission, established by the mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness, has called for a "radical" overhaul of the care system.

It's been over 100 years since the term 'Schizophrenia' was first coined, but care and treatment are still nowhere near good enough.It is a scandal that in 2012 people with Schizophrenia are dying 15-20 years earlier than the general population and that only 7% are able to get a job. Too many people are falling through the gaps in the system and ending up in prison or homeless.

Developing ideal treatments might take time, but there are things which can be done today which could transform lives. More money does need to be spent - but the funding that already exists could also be used much more effectively.

We wouldn't accept this state of affairs for cancer, why should people with Schizophrenia have to endure it?

– PAUL JENKINS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE CHARITY RETHINK MENTAL ILLNESS

The report suggests that too much money is being spent on secure care - the most expensive form of care - and more should be invested in prevention and community support.

It also expresses concern that early intervention treatment teams are being cut in some areas.

Researchers claim that very few sufferers get the recommended levels of care.

This report highlights important areas for improvement and shows why we have put better treatment for those with mental health problems at the heart of the new Mandate for the NHS.

This includes plans to hold the NHS to account for improving health and reducing premature deaths in people with serious mental illness.

We're setting up pilot sites to improve access to psychological therapies for those who have a severe mental illness including schizophrenia.

We are clear that people with mental health problems should be treated with the same high quality and dignified care as anyone else and we expect the NHS to make this happen.

– A DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SPOKESWOMAN