NHS cash crisis takes toll on mental health care

Mental health inpatient and day care are among the services hit by the “devastating” effects of the NHS financial crisis, the Royal College of Nursing warned today.
Thousands of jobs have “disappeared” from the NHS in redundancies and recruitment freezes. Bereavement and end-of-life services for children and families have been affected as well as those dealing with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, according to a new report from the RCN.
More than eight out of 10 specialist nurses said that NHS cuts were having an “adverse” effect on patient care, while nearly half were aware of service cuts in their specialist area, the report showed.
Ahead of the RCN’s annual congress this week, RCN general secretary Dr Peter Carter called on the government to address the situation “immediately” to avoid further cuts.
He said: “The deficits issue is not history – it is real, entrenched and continues to hit patient care, services and jobs. Yes, the NHS achieved overall financial balance last year – but at what cost?
“Our NHS remains caught up in a rip-tide of cuts, rushed reforms and poor workforce planning. This is hitting services, hurting patients, undermining staff morale and threatening the hard-won progress made over recent years.”
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