The Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt is claiming that the Government’s Mental Health expansion plan (announced on Monday) is going to be the “biggest expansions of mental health services in Europe". Whilst the Department of Health said the new fund would properly integrate mental and physical health services for the first time.
The plans have been met with scepticism from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) questioning whether enough people could be trained in time to deliver the services. Other sources are concerned that although this announcement is a positive step towards parity of esteem between physical and mental health, it doesn’t go far enough to address the crisis in retaining of staff and staff morale. All ACP members have undergone a lengthy NHS based Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) training which recently has been under threat through potential changes in funding. In addition to this, many of our members report poor working conditions and a growing frustration that children and young people with some of the most complex difficulties are not getting access to the specialist treatment they need.
They also say that specialists are more likely to be asked to provide very short-term assessments and are then spending huge amounts of time inputting data onto electronic systems, rather than seeing more children. This means that well trained clinicians are leaving their NHS mental health posts because it has become too difficult for them to stay.
We are therefore inviting those who work in NHS mental health services to let us (and Jeremy Hunt) know what they need in order to stay, and continue to support and grow what currently appears to be a very beleaguered workforce. Have your say by using #reasontostay.