The Schizophrenia Commission, which was established by Rethink Mental Illness charity, has released a report titled The Abandoned Illness, which highlights too much is spent on secure care - 19% of the mental health budget in England last year - with many people staying too long in expensive units. It then went on to say that overall care for people with schizophrenia in England is falling "catastrophically short" and requires a major overhaul.
Schizophrenia is a disorder, which affects thinking, feeling and behaviour, and symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, such as hearing voices and loss of interest, energy and emotions.
Figures show that this condition costs society almost £12bn a year and that the money would be better spent on preventing illness. Through: early intervention teams to help people, before their hallucinations or delusions become severe; family therapy and better drug prescribing practice, as people with schizophrenia were not always receiving the most effective medication. The Commission also called for clearer warnings on the use of cannabis to reduce the risk of schizophrenia.
A government spokesman said: "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."
Written and presented by Ann Salter.