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NHS to recruit 21,000 Mental Health workers in England

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The health secretary has said thousands more mental health workers are to be recruited by the NHS in England.

The £1.3 billion pound drive is promised to increase the number of nurses, therapists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to treat an extra one million people and provide services seven days a week.

Jeremy Hunt has promised to end the “historic imbalance” between mental and physical health services. He went on to say that the measures were “ambitious” and amounted to “one of the biggest expansions of mental health services in Europe”.

The aim is to recruit enough nurses and support staff to treat an extra one million patients by 2020-21 but with over 30,000 current NHS vacancies unions are critical as to where these staff will come from.

Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, who helped develop the plan, said; “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.”

However, the Royal College of Nursing said the plans did not add up, and more “hard cash” would be needed if the new staff were to be trained in time.

“If these nurses were going to be ready in time, they would be starting training next month,” said RCN Chief Executive Janet Davies.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Julius Marstrand

    31st July 2017 at 9:31 am

    UWE recently reported a drop in applications for nursing degrees because of the withdrawal of bursaries for nurse training. No surprised there.
    What they said was that this appeared to be affecting mature applicants more than younger applicants, because mature applicants were less able, or less inclined, to take on the burden of debt involved.
    Unfortunately a much higher proportion of applicants for mental health nursing courses are mature students, because they are people who already have more experience of life. So the withdrawal of bursaries is having an even greater effect on the numbers of nurses training in mental health.
    It takes four years to train a nurse, so where is Jeremy Corbyn going to find another 21,000 qualified mental health nurses by 2020? Do the maths Jeremy!

  2. Julius Marstrand

    31st July 2017 at 9:31 am

    UWE recently reported a drop in applications for nursing degrees because of the withdrawal of bursaries for nurse training. No surprised there.
    What they said was that this appeared to be affecting mature applicants more than younger applicants, because mature applicants were less able, or less inclined, to take on the burden of debt involved.
    Unfortunately a much higher proportion of applicants for mental health nursing courses are mature students, because they are people who already have more experience of life. So the withdrawal of bursaries is having an even greater effect on the numbers of nurses training in mental health.
    It takes four years to train a nurse, so where is Jeremy Corbyn going to find another 21,000 qualified mental health nurses by 2020? Do the maths Jeremy!

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Mental Health

A Prescription for Murder? The BBC Documentary that further reinforces Mental Health Stereotypes

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Experts have heavily criticised the BBC Panorama documentary ‘A Prescription for Murder?’.

The controversial BBC documentary questioned if selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants played a part or even contributed to the murder of James Holmes.

With more than 40 million prescriptions issued in the UK each year for antidepressants, a significant number of these are for SSRIs.

Experts are warning that although openly speaking about mental health is good, reinforcing a stigma that has no evidence or basis-in-fact is a step in the wrong direction and only further reinforces mental health stereotypes.

You can watch ‘BBC Panorama: A Prescription for Murder‘ on BBC iPlayer. 

Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, wrote in the International Business Times that; “Last night’s Panorama programme A Prescription for Murderset back the journalism of mental health by decades”.

She goes on to explain that considerable research has been done and, currently, there is no evidence to suggest an even a casual link between antidepressants and murder. Instead, there is clear evidence that antidepressants are an effective treatment for an “extremely serious illness”.

Finally, she adds “Making a link between the two only increases stigma – which we know exacerbates someone’s mental”. You can read her full article here.

Prof Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry, King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, said: “There is no good evidence that antidepressants increase the risk of violent behaviour, and the extremely rare (and tragic) cases that are cited in support of this theory could be explained by chance”.

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Mental Health

Nurses assigned to Police control rooms to aid with mental health emergencies

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A team of Nurses are being deployed in Lincolnshire Police control rooms to assist officers in dealing with calls involving mental health issues.

Significant investment from the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones means Nurses from Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust can help support front-line officers. 

Starting later this month the nurses will be on hand to offer advice to callers and help officers deal with situations or direct them to alternative services.

The service will provide a link between the police and services such as the Rapid Response Vehicle for Lincoln and Gainsborough, mental health liaison services and the Section 136 Suite. It is hoped the new service will result in a reduction in Section 136 detentions for mental health crisis.

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said; “I hope the new project will provide valuable support for officers dealing with very difficult circumstances on a daily basis as they keep our communities safe”.

“It is equally important that we deal with vulnerable people as sympathetically and professionally as possible and get them the services and support they need quickly. “The new crisis nurses will be on hand to help officers with the right advice, guidance and support to manage situations in the best way and to get the right help to the right place quickly”.

Dr John Brewin, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased to be working jointly with Lincolnshire Police in this way, and that the more vulnerable members of the community will be supported at such times of crisis”.

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