The Public Mental Health Information Centre

is a new body set up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/improving-care/public-mental-health-implementation-centre to ‘Provide high-quality evidence, advice and recommendations on public mental health to government and other policy-making bodies at local and national levels’. They add ‘If you think that there is an opportunity for us or would like to explore working with us, please contact us at public.MH@rcpsych.ac.uk.’ The PMHIC ‘are keen to Support collaboration and leadership on public mental health with a broad range of stakeholders’. All very laudable, but stakeholders have a vested interest in the perpetuation of their own service. For over a decade the stakeholders have managed to mark their own homework. They are charming, hidden persuaders, with the ear of the powerful.

A starting point for the PMHIC would be to review the independent evidence on the effectiveness of routine psychological interventions in primary and secondary care. But insisting on the outcome measures that are used in the best randomised controlled trials of psychotropic medication. The PMHIC could then make a judgement on the current quality of the evidence on effectiveness and suggest ways forward to improve the quality. In the 21st Century it should no longer be acceptable that treatment recommendations are based solely on the consensus judgement of ‘experts’, many of whom have conflicts of interest.

Dr Mike Scott

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