Responding to the announcement of £15 million of funding to support NHS staff mental health, Rebecca Smith, managing director of NHS Employers, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said:
“NHS leaders know all too well the physical, emotional and mental toll the pandemic is having on their frontline workers as they respond to rising coronavirus cases alongside delivering their broader services for patients and preparing for what is expected to be a very difficult winter.
“Nine out of ten NHS leaders we surveyed recently said they are concerned about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of staff, so this bolstered package of support will be welcome and will complement the measures that employers have put in place already.
“The roles of managers, teams, and organisations are vital in supporting staff to maintain their wellbeing, and it’s imperative that the right training is available to make sure mental wellbeing can be discussed openly and supported appropriately.
“However, no amount of mental health support will truly improve the experiences of frontline staff when they are faced with rising demand for healthcare alongside 90,000 vacancies. This requires additional investment from the Government spanning several years to put right.
“Also, we must remember that social care workers will be equally exhausted and facing similar pressures. It is high time we see funding from the Government to support their mental wellbeing too.”