by burylibdems on 1 August, 2017
Health organisations and the Liberal Democrats have criticised the Government’s announcement on mental health NHS staffing shortages as inadequate.
The Government announced plans yesterday to recruit an extra 5,000 staff into mental health services by 2020-21, but many have critised the existing crisis in filling jobs, and the lack of any new funding to pay for these posts.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb said: “This is a government that is all bark and no bite. We need to be serious about mental health but all this government has done is pluck a number out of thin air. This government has built a reputation for big announcements which then fail to materialise, this has all the markings of another one. Time and again we see bold announcements while services continue to struggle to cope.
Jeremy Hunt called for thousands of extra GPs to be in place by 2020, yet so far he has overseen a shrinking of the workforce. They then quietly dropped the commitment in their manifesto. And now he has already been forced to admit that he hasn’t got the money for his latest plans.”
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Prof Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said 570 extra consultants had been promised in the plans.
“You would expect to see a consultant if you had cancer and the same applies for mental health. The biggest challenge to creating robust mental health services is the workforce. I am very supportive of this strategy which starts to tackle that problem.
Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “There is already a dangerous lack of workforce planning and accountability and this report is unable to provide detail on how the ambitions will be met. It is clear the government will need to work hard just to get back to the number of specialist staff working in mental health services in 2010. Under this government, there are 5,000 fewer mental health nurses and that goes some way to explaining why patients are being failed.”