Responding to the Government’s pledge of over £400 million to remove dormitories from mental health facilities, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, said:
“This investment is a long overdue sign of the Government’s commitment to improving mental healthcare services but if it really wants to prove this to patients and frontline staff, it will need to dig much deeper.
“Eradicating mental health dormitories has been a long-held national ambition and it will require sustained investment on top of what has been announced today to design further alternative inpatient facilities, as well as to support more services in the community.
“As the pandemic continues to take its hold on the nation’s mental wellbeing, an additional 500,000 people are estimated to require support for their mental health in the next two years. Providers will have to respond to this rising tide in demand while facing a 10-30 per cent reduction in how many patients they can care for due to the necessary infection control measures and with at least 27,000 vacancies.
“World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to celebrate the phenomenal work of our mental healthcare workforce for everything they do. This money is a good down payment to start to bring mental healthcare estates into the 21st Century but it needs to be part of a significant, long-term capital funding settlement to ensure all services can provide therapeutic and recovery-focussed care.”