A mental health chief has pledged to improve care for people with mental illnesses.

Consultant clinical psychologist Kajori Mukherjee of the Barnet, Enfield, Haringey Mental Health Trust believes patients suffering with mental health problems should receive the same standard of treatment as those with physical illnesses.

The call came at a conference organised by national charity Rethink Mental Illness (RMI), which is demanding a nationwide improvement in care.

At the event, Ms Mukherjee said: “We’re absolutely committed to making sure people with mental health problems get the same standard of care as those with physical illnesses. We’re always looking for new ideas for how we can do things better and how we can use the resources we have as effectively as possible.

“I’m very grateful to Rethink Mental Illness for organising the summit and providing the opportunity for a really productive discussion about how we can improve the lives of people affected by schizophrenia and psychosis in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey.”

RMI is hoping that a push for investment in community services will reduce the need for expensive hospital beds.

Victoria Bleazard, associate director of campaigns and policy for RMI, said: “Mental health is chronically underfunded. It accounts for 23 per cent of the disease burden in England, but gets just 13 per cent of the budget.

“On top of this, NHS spending has been essentially frozen in real terms until around 2020 and NHS England recently decided to disproportionately cut mental health, despite the Government’s commitment to equality between mental and physical health.”