The RCN responded to reports the Chancellor will announce a 15 per cent real-terms spending rise on mental health services in England to enable schools and hospital A&E departments have dedicated mental health teams
RCN Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said:
“Ensuring a bigger proportion of the money promised by the Chancellor to the NHS is spent on mental health is a crucial first step to correcting the historical underfunding of services for people with mental health problems. This will go some way towards putting physical and mental health services on an equal footing – as long as the extra money is ringfenced to prevent it being diverted to ease crises at NHS Trusts as another tough winter approaches.
“While it makes sense to set up closer links between schools, social services and the NHS, around 5,000 mental health nurses have left the health service since 2010, so it’s difficult to see how this vision will be realised without a sufficient, well-trained nursing workforce. A&E departments already have significant staffing gaps.
“Making mental health nursing an attractive career and retaining experienced mental health staff must become a priority to ensure no one with a mental health problem is left behind.”