Mind welcomes NHS announcement of more support for mental wellbeing of its staff

Posted On: 
20th February 2019

Please find below the latest statement from Mind issued in response to the government’s announcement of more mental health support for NHS workers.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced a package of measures to better support the mental health of NHS workers. Put together by Health Education England (HEE), it includes an offer of rest spaces for on-call staff, a 24/7 support and advice phone line and quicker access to mental health referrals for NHS workers. Other proposals include specific support for staff immediately after a traumatic incident and the introduction of Workforce Wellbeing Guardians.

The recommendations have come on the back of the NHS Long Term Plan, which pledged an extra £2.3bn a year for mental health services and HEE’s report on the mental health and wellbeing of NHS staff. They are now being considered as part of a larger, long term workforce plan, due to be published in April.

Responding to the commission’s report, Paul Farmer, Mind’s Chief Executive, said:

“We welcome Health Education England’s report and its recommendations, which rightly emphasise the need to look after the mental health of NHS staff and learners. It is good to see the Government recognising how heavily NHS services, including for mental health, rely on the capacity and wellbeing of the workforce. We are also glad to see that that NHS staff with mental health problems fed into the report.

“Staff working across the NHS do a hugely important job, often in very challenging conditions. Failure to properly prioritise their mental wellbeing can have dire consequences that affect service users and employees.

“There is a huge amount of work to do to achieve the ambitions in this report. A lack of foresight in workforce planning has led to conscientious staff feeling frustrated and facing burn-out, which the latest NHS staff survey underlined, with less than a third of employees saying they felt the organisation has taken action to improve their wellbeing.  

“Supporting and expanding the workforce is crucial to the successful delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan, which has promised an extra £2.3bn a year for mental health services. None of its promises will become reality unless we invest not only in the mental health of current staff but also recruit a larger workforce.”