Jason Beattie of the Daily Mirror reports:
In a letter to the Daily Mirror more than 100 mental health workers say the Coalition have conducted a “sustained and vicious” attack on frontline services.
“We believe that this has put any member of the public with mental health needs at serious risk.
“We cannot continue to work under this intolerable stress as a result of cuts to our services.
“We are at risk of becoming (or in some cases already have become) mentally unwell ourselves.
“We believe that a serious change of course is desperately needed in order for us to do our jobs effectively and to prevent losing saveable lives.
Those signing the letter include mental health nurses, clinical psychologists, occupational health workers, support staff and social workers who between them have more than 2,180 years of NHS service.
The letter notes that in the last five years mental health budgets have been cut by 8.25% in real terms and mental health nursing numbers cut by 6% – despite pledges by ministers for it have “parity of esteem” with physical health.
“Savage cuts have caused immeasurable distress to people and their families trying to access our services.
“The national beds shortage has seen people in acute mental distress transported across the country in costly private ambulances, often in excess of 200 miles, just to access an acute mental health bed.
“Many of us have experienced deaths among our clients that we believe were avoidable had our services not been cut,” the letter says.
Many of those who signed the letter are health professionals at Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).
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