Targets to boost mental health staff by 21,000 set to be missed
January 2, 2019
By: Jenna Rachid
NHS workforce figures show that ministers are on course to miss their target of increasing mental health staff by 21,000 by 2020, with NHS mental health trusts employing just 1,524 extra personnel over the last year.
According to the Guardian, the unmet targets could set back Theresa May’s plans to improve mental health care by reducing delays and wait times for patients.
Commenting on the figures, Barbara Keeley, the shadow mental health minister, said: ‘This government’s failure to act on the mental health workforce crisis could threaten to turn the burning injustice of mental ill-health that the prime minister pledged to tackle into a raging inferno.’
A survey by youth mental health charity stem4 has found that 99% of GPs worry that young people struggling with their mental health will come to harm due to their inability to access treatment, the Guardian reports.
According to the poll of UK family doctors, 37% said that health and social care services for under 18’s suffering with anxiety, depression and other conditions were ‘extremely inadequate’ and 53% of GPs stated services were ‘very inadequate’.
‘This survey lays bare just how broken children’s mental health services are in much of the country. Families are left in a state of acute anxiety, desperately hoping no harm will come to their child whilst they wait,’ said Norman Lamb, the former health minister for the Liberal Democrats.
Commenting further on the survey’s findings, Lamb said: ‘It is a disgrace that so many children are turned away from services after a referral from their GP. Most disturbing of all is the finding that 99% of GPs fear that young people may come to harm whilst waiting for treatment.’
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