An assault on NHS staff is an assault on us all

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond

The soon-to-published 10-year NHS plan will see the introduction of a new mental health crisis service, which will see teams placed in accident and emergency units across the country, and the introduction of a 24-hour mental health crisis hotline.

Chancellor Philip Hammond on Monday made the surprise announcement that mental health services will be a key beneficiary of the NHS's £20.5bn funding increase.

"But the fact remains that the extra £20 billion for the NHS that Theresa May announced in June - and yesterday;s pledge comes from that pot - is nowhere near enough to heal the wounds caused by eight years of Tory cuts to our health service".

Kevin Gardner has been CEO of the charity for 18 months and said: 'Clearly we welcome any investment into mental health services, there has been under investment in the NHS for decades.

It is also crucial, however, to invest in services that prevent emergencies, including support in primary care, community services and help with housing and debt.

Children and young people's crisis teams will be available in all parts of the country, while funding will be increased for mental health ambulances.

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"We are proud to have made this extraordinary commitment to funding our NHS, a precious institution that has been nurtured for most of its life by Conservative governments", he said. "And regrettably, the Chancellor's speech failed to disclose any new details about the policy reforms that will introduced in support of mental health services - merely reiterating what had already been announced in the lead up to the Budget".

'Victims of assault at work have their lives turned upside down and it affects their wellbeing, their families and their livelihood and there's always more we can do to support them'.

Kim Sunley, national officer for the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Nurses and health care workers understand their roles aren't risk-free but, to many, it still seems as if the threat of physical violence is a daily reality". Global research shows that with effective help and support, many more people with mental health difficulties can get and keep employment. Yet the sad truth is that that something experienced by many NHS staff.

And parity for mental health within the NHS is not the same as equality for people with mental health difficulties. However, while this funding is directed at specific new programmes, it is vital that we also see more support for core services for people with severe and long term mental health problems. We need, for example, to see changes to social security, including Universal Credit, reforming the way people are assessed for benefit entitlements and ending the use of benefit sanctions on people with mental health difficulties.

"With mental health having long taken the backseat, there is a lot of catching up to do if we are to improve the provision of these vital services".

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