ACP Director of Professional Standards, Mary Walker gave a presentation about the work of the ACP and members, at a recent Accredited Registers Conference: Modern Solutions for the Modern World. Her talk was linked to the theme: A healthy Mind in a Healthy Body and Child Mental Health, with a talk also on Obesity in children and adults.
She highlighted that there has been much in the media about the need to provide quicker and more comprehensive help and how, so far the reality on the ground has not matched the vision for children’s mental health: spending on child and adolescent mental health forms only 6% of the total spend on mental health in the NHS, which in turn is only 6% of the total NHS budget. (Dept. of Health, 2015). Notably, one in five local authorities have either frozen or cut their budget for CAMHS every single year since 2010. Many senior CAMHS professionals (across the country) have been downgraded or made redundant, and some clinical services have been axed. Many children and young people get little or no therapeutic help.
She added: We in the ACP, are working hard to work out where we can influence the national agenda on a better provision of mental health services for children and it is heartening to see that groups are coming together to campaign and write about issues relating to the well-being of children."
Clare Simpson, Strategic Workforce Advisor, New Care Models Workforce Redesign Team from NHS England, was present and appreciated the emphasis Mary made on the need for joined up thinking and working together. She said that this year 2017/18 is about getting the groundwork on the new care models done.
The Conference was well attended and offered opportunity for PSA registered organisations to join forces to raise awareness about professional standards in health ans the need for registration.The PSA has now been operating for four years and has 23 member organizations, of which the ACP is one. Recognition of the PSA is growing and a recent workforce review showed that 75% of Local Authorities are aware of the PSA and its accredited registers and practitioners. There are ongoing plans to reform regulation across all the professions and there will be a new consultation about this soon (post election) to look at which other professions should be regulated and how.