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Mind responds to CQC State of Care Report showing reduced access and quality of care in mental health services

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 Mind

Mind has issued a response to the CQC’s State of Care report, which this year focuses particularly on inpatient mental health services, which have seen a reduction in quality.

Findings include:

  • 7% of child and adolescent mental health inpatient services were rated inadequate (2018: 3%)

  • 8% of acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units were rated inadequate (2018: 2%).

The report also outlines how the majority of mental health inpatient services rated inadequate or requiring improvement also had a lack of appropriately skilled staff.

Responding to the report, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said:

“It is disturbing that the CQC continues to highlight the same issues with the quality of mental healthcare, time and time again, just when people need them the most.

“We have repeatedly said that additional investment needs to reach the frontline to counteract years of underfunding and increased demand for mental health services. But the report shows access to community mental health services is not keeping pace with demand. The promise of more money at a national level is not enough – people are still reaching crisis point because they are aren’t getting the help they need.

“We know that even when people are able to get help, it is delivered in sub-standard facilities which limits the quality of their care. It is deeply unsettling that inspections repeatedly reveal outdated and dangerous infrastructure. We cannot expect people with mental health problems to be treated in these conditions, nor should we expect NHS mental health staff to work in them. And yet the Government has barely given mental health a mention in recent capital spending announcements.

“The Government must also urgently address the diminishing workforce, which is driving the overall decline in the quality of mental healthcare. As demand increases, under-supported staff are leaving in droves. This report shows that understaffed and under-resourced services don’t deliver quality care.

“Though investment through the NHS Long Term Plan is welcome, it is clear that in real-terms mental health services have been left languishing at the bottom of the pile, including, worryingly, those for children and young people and psychiatric intensive care units. The public rightly expects mental health services to be as much of a priority as those for physical health but this message isn’t getting through to local decision makers. The Government must invest in infrastructure and workforce, and the NHS Long Term Plan must be delivered in every local area if we are to see meaningful change for people trying to access support right now.”

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