The beleaguered draft mental health bill has suffered another body
blow with warnings from the NHS Confederation that it could lead to
a workforce crisis. A new report from the confederation, which
speaks for NHS employers, said the draft bill’s proposals would
increase the workload of mental health professionals, forcing them
to spend double the time it currently takes to implement the Mental
Health Act 1983.
The report estimates an additional 1,000 staff will be needed to
manage existing caseloads, without considering the extra work
created by compulsory treatment in the community and tribunals.
These concerns echo similar comments from the Association of
Directors of Social Services.
The draft bill’s downgrading of the role of approved social workers
in sectioning is also a problem exercising the minds of social care
Mental health tsar Louis Appleby has said that the draft bill needs
to be revised, but it remains to be seen whether that will happen
or whether the government will ignore concerns and include it as it
stands in next week’s Queen’s Speech.