NHS England expansion of mental health support welcome but workforce plan is essential, RCEM says
Responding to the NHS England announcement of further mental health support for staff after an incredibly difficult year, Dr Katherine Henderson, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:
“This is a very welcome and timely initiative from NHS England and NHS Improvement that should help a workforce that is reaching its limits.
“NHS staff are always under pressure, but this last year they have gone a long way above and beyond what could ever have been expected of them. They have delivered magnificently. But we have seen significant signs of burnout in ED staff and it is clear that the pandemic has taken a major mental and physical toll, so we are pleased to see further mental health support measures made available to support staff who may be struggling.
“While mental health support is the right thing to do in terms of treatment, it does not tackle the underlying issue. The NHS went into a pandemic hugely understaffed, which put a huge amount of pressure and a heavy strain on the workforce we did have.
“Proposals for a reorganisation of the NHS are all very well, but we must see a revised people plan as soon as possible. The forthcoming budget would be an ideal opportunity for the government to show how it will provide what the NHS really needs more of: staff.”