This week the Mental Health Taskforce published a consultation report – its public engagement findings which aimed to collect stakeholder views to support the development of the 5 year national strategy for mental health.
The most important findings relate to improving access, reducing waiting times, better access to talking therapies, increased choice in treatments and prevention of mental health problems.
So far so good – given that this consultation gives voice to real people, in real places, with real problems, perhaps it will add to the impact of the other reports offering similar messages over the past two years but struggling to deliver due to staff capacity and reduced budgets.
Earlier this week Sir Simon Stevens announced a NHS staff health programme for NHS staff to improve their health – with improved access to physio and OT, exercise classes and healthier foods at work.
There are some synergies there with the MHTaskforce report. Is that surprising? NHS staff are innovative, energetic and human. As are people with mental health problems – some of whom will be NHS staff. Until workforce planning incorporates considerations about the impact on the mental health, physical health and capacity of individuals to do the impossible it is hard to see how the trade-off between the health of clients and patients and the staff that treat them might be addressed.