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19.02.20

More staff, modern facilities needed for mental health services

That was the call of Sean Duggan, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Network, part of the NHS Confederation, as he responded to a report on NHS mental health services by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Key findings from the report suggested one in five people did not feel safe while in the care of the NHS mental health service which treated them, while over half (56%) said they experienced delays to their treatment.

Four in ten said they waited too long to be diagnosed, though almost half (48%) said they would be unlikely to complain if they were unhappy with the service provided. One in three said they did not think their complaint would be taken seriously, and the main reason complaints weren’t raised was that they did not want “to cause trouble”.

Mr Duggan said: “Stretched staff work tirelessly to give the best possible care, and to give service users a voice, but this report shows clearly we still need to make significant progress.

“The vision set out in the NHS Long Term Plan will help, but we need renewed support from Government to recruit and retain the right number of people, to ensure facilities are safe and up-to-date and that legislation is appropriate.

“The return of the maintenance grant for student nurses is positive and the forthcoming People Plan must also have solutions to increase the supply and help us to better retain our staff.

“Mental health facilities, which are among the worst across the system, were underrepresented in the Government’s capital investment plans and that needs to be put right.

“We also await the promised legislation to modernise the Mental Health Act which will make a big difference to ensuring that those who have reached the point of crisis receive the care they need.”

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