Mental health lifeline for doctors cut off

Doctors have been shocked and appalled to discover that the latest cash-saving wheeze from NHS England has been to axe the dedicated mental health support for hospital doctors offered by the Practitioner Health Programme (PHP), which celebrated its 15th anniversary last autumn. The service – the largest publicly-funded mental health staff treatment service in the

Community mental health services failing children and young people

One in five children and young people in England aged eight to 25 have a probable mental disorder, according to a new survey from NHS England, with large rises in the last few years in the number with eating disorders. But years of underinvestment in community mental health services means these children and young people

Mental health declining, what’s the plan?

World Mental Health Day on October 10th took the theme of good mental health as a universal human right. In the UK, despite over 75 years of universal healthcare via the NHS, attaining good mental health as a human right is getting ever harder to achieve following over a decade of underfunding and policies that

Greater Manchester mental health trust failure sign of wider neglect

The latest dire revelations of the state of mental health services provided by Greater Manchester mental health trust, which has been declared ‘inadequate’ by the CQC, need to be seen in the context of rising staff shortages, underfunding and government neglect. So bad has the situation become that the chief executive of the NHS Confederation’s

Quarter of million children denied mental health care

News about NHS children’s mental health services hit a new low point this month, with research by The House publication finding a quarter of a million children being denied help by the NHS in the last year. The House research used FOI requests to NHS trusts across the UK and found that England has the

Budget frustrates mental health sector

Leading voices across the mental health sector gave last week’s ‘back to work’ Budget a ‘requires improvement’ rating, highlighting how government failure to address fundamental capacity and workforce issues risks undermining the new support announced by the chancellor. Among the various ‘shifting the dial’ support initiatives announced in the Budget were an expansion of the

Charities accuse government of “betrayal” on plan for mental health

Mental health charities say the government’s broken promise to produce a new strategy focused on mental health “risks letting down the one in four people in the UK impacted by mental illness”. Instead ministers plan to include mental health within a broader Major Conditions Strategy, along with chronic physical conditions, such as cancer and respiratory

NHS pre-Christmas edicts: grim reading for health chiefs

The list of impossible tasks The customary pre-Christmas Eve letter to NHS bosses and leaders setting objectives for the next financial year was significantly shorter than usual in 2022, with the list of impossible things to do scaled back from 130 or so to 31 “national objectives”: but even the reduced list will have made

Pressures on mental health services being felt by GPs on frontline

A new survey from Pulse has revealed how the pressure on mental health services has led to GPs having to provide specialist mental health support that they say is beyond their competence. The survey of 569 GPs, which looked at the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health services at the GP level, found

Mental health services are near to collapse

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are in a state of near-collapse across much of the UK according to a shocking new report by mental health charity stem4, publicised in The Guardian. The report draws on a survey this spring of 1001 GPs, and finds 95% of respondents believe CAMHS services are either in

Policy of underfunding and outsourcing fails mental health patients

As the most vulnerable NHS mental health patients face growing waits for treatment, and ministers want to start talking about a new mental health strategy, it is time to recognise that partnerships with the private sector are no easy route to easing the NHS waiting lists.   Private health companies have a strong foothold in

Is in-store support the future for mental health in the UK?

Boots brought private health a little closer to the high street last week with the launch of a subscription-based on-demand service for customers suffering from depression and anxiety. A press release supporting the move cites the current crisis in free mental healthcare provision in the NHS – and appears to link it with a claimed

Low NHS capacity in mental health leaves it beholden to private companies

The evidence of a massive increase in people in need of help from mental health services in the UK is now incontrovertible. NHS England reports 1.4 million people on the waiting list for care, with an additional eight million who would benefit from care, but who do not meet current criteria.   Funding?  Despite all the

Mental health: data backs up concerns over services

The last three months have seen more worrying reports of the pressure mental health services are under as a system that was struggling before the pandemic now tries to cope with a surge in requests for support.  In early January 2022, NHS Digital data showed the dramatic surge in demand for services for eating disorders

Mental health services – never more in need of Help!

Report finds mental health beds for young people fell by 20% since 2017 65% of trusts leaders say they are unable to meet demand 50% of NHS capacity is outsourced to the private sector NHS England’s latest TV ad promoting talking therapies, featuring music celebrities and a spoken rendition of a classic Beatles song, has

Lord Stevens pushes for clarity on mental health funding

Lord Simon Stevens, the previous chief executive of NHS England, has tabled amendments to the health and care bill currently making its way through Parliament, which would force the government to be clear on the level of funding it is providing for mental health services.  The amendments would require NHS England’s annual report to disclose

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