this week

Mental health managers have been warned to resist the government's 'political rhetoric' and think carefully before entering into partnerships with other agencies.

A report from the Institute of Health Services Management says partnership working should only be attempted after 'clear and agreed outcomes' have been set.

'If you are delivering a good quality service you shouldn't have to say 'let's go into a partnership',' says IHSM health policy analyst Elizabeth Gardiner, who wrote the report.

She says the government's mental health strategy is flawed by inconsistencies and will raise unrealistic expectations among service users. She calls for 'greater clarity' from the government on issues such as the role of primary care groups in commissioning services.

Partnership in Progress: new ways of working in mental health. IHSM. 0171-460 7654.£10 (£7.50 to members).