Medacs Healthcare

NOV 28/2014

Mental health services under strain

Temporary nurses could help alleviate the current pressure on mental health services in the UK, a new study has suggested. 

This strain is caused by resources being stretched and unable to meet the demand, which is a result of a lack of nurses and not enough beds being available for patients. This is according to a report from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) that shows there are not enough nurses working in mental health to treat the number of people needing access to the service.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said these shortages could have a "real and lasting impact on those who desperately need the right care and support". 

"The sterling work of the nurses and doctors who helped turn this around is in danger of being undone through short sighted responses to cost pressures,” he said.

A fall in these vital services mean that many people who have mental health problems are having to wait to get the level of support they need, or wait until their condition has worsened enough for them to be hospitalised.

Mental health is a blossoming area of medicine, which is likely to expand and grow in the coming years, and this high demand could give short-term nurses the opportunity to specialise in an interesting and developing area.

This could help these professionals gather transferrable skills that could enable them to excel in various areas of nursing. Mental health services demand nurses that are keen to prioritise care and find the best solution for their patient, which is a skill that many in nurses may already have but want to blossom.

Dr Carter said: “Our report makes for sobering reading but with the right resources and funding, and commitment from all levels of government, we can ensure that this important arm of nursing is protected so that it can continue to care and support for people when they are at their most vulnerable.”

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