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SANE responds to mental health workforce plans
Added: 31st Jul 2017

Plans to expand the mental health workforce to tackle the ‘historic imbalance’ in workforce capacity have been revealed today by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The government committed £1.3bn to transform mental health services with a pledge to treat an extra one million patients by 2020/21, provide services seven days a week, 24 hours a day and properly integrate mental and physical health services for the first time.

By 2020/21 local areas will need to create 21,000 new posts in priority growth areas to deliver the improvements in services and support set out in the NHS’s Five year forward view for mental health.

The workforce plan concludes that there should be:

  • 2,000 additional nurses, consultants and therapist posts created in child and adolescent mental health services.
  • 2,900 additional therapists and other allied health professionals supporting expanded access to adult talking therapies.
  • 4,800 additional posts for nurses and therapists working in crisis care settings, with the majority of these (4,600) being nursing positions.
  • Perinatal mental health support, liaison and diversion teams and early intervention teams working with people at risk of psychosis should also see significant increases.

Responding to the announcement, Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of SANE, says: “These ambitious measures are a recognition of the emergency we now face, following so many years in which the mental health services have been running on empty. The attrition of the mental health workforce in recent years has left a depleted and often demoralized staff, many doing their best to cope in difficult circumstances.

“We hope that the new money will be earmarked to fund the new posts, and that in three years’ time people in need of psychiatric help will at last start to receive consistent, high quality care.”

Read more here.

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