Mental health managers have been ordered to promote their services rather than presenting them as a 'bleak Victorian underworld'.

National mental health director Louis Appleby stressed the point at a Westminster Diet and Health Forum seminar.

Managers and health professionals must stop posing as "victims of neglect" and using "tiresome Cinderella-based metaphors", he said.

"If we present to the public that provision is some kind of bleak Victorian underworld, we shouldn't be surprised if the public form an attitude to mental health that is also bleak and Victorian."

His comments come as the mental health clinical pathway group chairs in each of the 10 English health regions identified "patchy" leadership as a potential barrier to implementing the next stage review.

Moving Forwards to Better Mental Health and Wellbeing says commissioners should have to publicly identify provider failures and state their reasons for continuing contracts.