CSA works with government to “Stop the charge”
The CSA has welcomed efforts to remove the cost to consumers for the completion of the Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form.
The form is required by creditors to prove a consumer has a mental health condition and should receive extra support.
An investigation and campaign “Stop the charge”, by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute in October 2016, found doctors have been charging up to £150 for this form.
The institute said this is resulting in people going without support or racking up more debt just to pay their GP.
Following the launch of this campaign, in January 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “To end this unfair practice the Department for Health will undertake a formal review of the mental health debt form, working with the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.”
John Rickets, president of the CSA, and Peter Wallwork, chief executive of the CSA, have just announced they attended a meeting, in August, at 10 Downing Street to discuss the evidence from the “Stop the charge” campaign.
Ricketts said: “There was general agreement that if and when the form is considered necessary, any cost should not be borne by the customer, though there were, of course, different opinions as to how this is best achieved.”
The CSA bosses were joined at the meeting by the following individuals and organisations:
- Minister for Mental Health, Jackie Doyle-Price,
- Senior executives from the British Medical Association (BMA),
- The Royal College of Psychiatrists,
- The Money Advice Trust (MAT),
- The Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG),
- UK Finance,
- The Department of Health,
- The Mental Health Policy Unit (MHPU).
Going forward, groups will be formed to feedback on topics that were discussed during the meeting – such as how the form might be simplified further and the burden of evidence that might be required.