Mental health services have played a key role throughout the pandemic, but there’s significant challenges ahead

12 August 2020

Responding to the NHS Confederation’s new mental health report Mental health services and COVID-19: preparing for the rising tide, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

“We welcome the report published today by NHS Confederation on mental health and COVID-19.

“It complements our recent briefing which also highlighted the key role trusts providing mental health and learning disability services have played throughout the pandemic, and warns of the need to take into account the pressure these services will face in the months ahead.

“Our first survey of trust leaders since the start of the pandemic highlighted that demand is outstripping supply in these services, with 61% seeing increased demand for urgent or crisis care.

Meeting this increased demand prompted by COVID-19 will be extremely challenging, despite substantial progress such as new services and higher levels of investment.

Miriam Deakin    Director of Policy and Strategy

“Meeting this increased demand prompted by COVID-19 will be extremely challenging, despite substantial progress such as new services and higher levels of investment.

“In our survey, all mental health trust leaders told us that they are extremely concerned about staff wellbeing, stress and burnout, following the pandemic.

“It is also vital that mental health trusts and key services provided by local authorities and the third sector receive sufficient funding and that it reaches frontline services. Trusts also need significantly more capital funding to expand services and improve the mental health estate.

“A balance must be struck between reaping the benefits of the innovations prompted by the pandemic and refocusing efforts on expanding and improving services, with ensuring staff get the time they need to recover.”

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