Responding to the Conservative Party’s manifesto for the 2019 General Election, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said:
“A considerable majority of health leaders agree improving mental health care should be a priority for whoever forms the next Government and the renewed focus on mental health services from all political parties during this election campaign has been very welcome.
“Providers of NHS mental health services face incredible challenges, with extreme workforce pressures and the urgent need for investment in modern, appropriate settings. Financial support for trainee nurses would be extremely beneficial, as workforce shortages are especially pronounced among mental health nursing staff. Likewise, the focus on improving care for people with learning disabilities is encouraging.
“If we are to make the improvements we know are necessary, the next government’s infrastructure plan must recognise the needs of the mental health sector and they must investigate ways of making it a more attractive place to work. This includes looking more creatively at how we staff services.
“It is pleasing to see a focus on the provision for children and young people in the Conservative manifesto. The promise of further roll out of mental health support teams in schools is welcome, as we know 50 per cent of mental health problems are established by age 14, and early intervention is key.
“Modernising the Mental Health Act will also make a big difference to ensuring that those who have reached the point of crisis receive the care they need.”