Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mental health provision: demand up 30% staffing down 8% under the Coalition

The Royal College of Nursing says there are now 3,300 fewer posts in mental health nursing, and 1,500 fewer beds, than in 2010.

At the same time, demand has increased by 30%, the RCN said.

A mental health charity said this was damaging the care patients received, leaving them needing long-term support.

According to the RCN's figures, mental health nursing posts declined by 8% in the past four years in England.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, posts were cut by 1%.

full report here. 1/3 of mental health nurses are over 50, so there are both long and short term issues.

Though its nice that lots of people have clicked on my spoof shortlist of candidates for the first women bishop, but I'd much rather they clicked on this. I really can't get my head round the fact that Nick Clegg made this a key part of his conference speech a few weeks ago, that the Libdems make all the right noises, but then all this happens on their watch. The mismatch between words and deeds is not just a scandal, its life-threatening.

Update: I preached this morning on the picture of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25, where Jesus speaks of how, when we do an act of kindness for a vulnerable person, we are doing it for him. That goes for governments too.


  1. I am a 'service user' and am on a forum that discusses lots of things but mostly support one another. The message time and again is that help is not available at early stages due to cuts and understaffed teams. People know their warning signs and reach out fir support but nothing is there, and instead of help to stay stable all that is available is when they have crashed and burned - at that point needing more expensive care and having fallen out of the job and other stabilising aspects of life.

    Mental Health has been the Cinderella service they say but even the rags are being taken away. They all talk it for the sound bite in the moment, never expect a follow through. Though society generally often seems happier if we're not talked about, after all who does a national fundraiser to support the crazy, or research into conditions?

  2. That's exactly my experience, the service seems in a hurry to 'discharge' people, rather than provide continuing support - many mental illnesses are recurrent, so this just seems stupid. Far better to provide ongoing, low-level support to stop people relapsing. Then when the mental health staff go off with stress because of the workload, it gets even worse.