Service Improvements – How?

Dear Oberon

Personally, I feel that the Welsh Assembly Government are not taking mental health issues seriously enough.   Dr Gibbons recently announced an additional £5 million to improve mental health services across Wales.   I participate in Monmouthshire’s Service User Network, and I am aware of some of the difficulties faced by health service managers and commissioners.

Mental Health Services do not overspend their budgets, but as there is currently a £40 million deficit in Gwent NHS Trust as a whole, Mental Health Services are legally obligated (under something called ‘Corporate Responsibility’) to pay back 8% of this deficit.   I failed my GCSE maths exam, but my calculator states that this is £3,2000,000.   Certainly not pocket change, even if you asked David Beckham’s financial advisor!

While paying back this huge sum of money, managers are expected to simultaneously improve services which have been previously chronically under-invested.   If 1 in 4 people suffer from mental ill health at some point of their lives (this is the same statistic as cancer and heart disease which are priorities 1 and 2 for the Welsh Assembly, – mental health is apparently priority 3), why can’t people in power see that it is not financially viable to promote such services with peanuts?   People like myself , who have used mental health services, are aware that the staff are over-worked, and very often cannot provide what their clients need in terms of quality services due to under-investment.

Just to top it off, more services are cut every year, under the banner of modernisation.   Services are cut, people have to rely on voluntary sector services like MIND and HAFAL, which are not given the same amount of money to provide these services as Gwent NHS Trust had previously required to run them.

Does this sound like lunacy, or am I just losing the plot?

Keep it surreal,

Brat Prince.  


One Response to “Service Improvements – How?”

  1. curious Says:

    Are all the mental health services being cut across Gwent Trust, or is Monmouthshire worse than the others?

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