Support for NHS staff mental health is welcome, but must come with long-term investment and focus

20 October 2020

Responding to NHS England’s announcement of £15m for staff mental health support, NHS Providers deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery said:

“NHS staff have been under considerable strain throughout the pandemic and our recent survey showed that 99% of trust leaders are concerned about current levels of burnout across the workforce.

“This funding is welcome, and much needed given what the frontline has experienced this year.

“Stress, absenteeism and turnover have all been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“To ensure we can successfully retain and engage staff, there must be national support and a co-ordinated approach to mental health and wellbeing and funding for training and education.

“However, in the long term we have to see more focus on building flexibility and support in the system. We can’t rely on one off wellbeing initiatives and staff continuing to be resilient.

The NHS has almost 100,000 vacancies so any initiative to improve staff wellbeing must also look at workforce pressures.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

“The NHS has almost 100,000 vacancies so any initiative to improve staff wellbeing must also look at workforce pressures.

“Crucially, one of the biggest challenges being faced in providing mental health support is the gaps in the mental health workforce that urgently need to be addressed. If the staff and services are not available, this severely limits the impact of investment in more dedicated services for the NHS workforce.”

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