Editorial

Making the difference to mental health services is a challenge for everyone

Editor Colin Parish on how you can get involved in the Mental Health Practice conference held in Manchester, in May

It has been clear for a while that mental health services are under great strain at the moment, with pressure on beds in hospitals and strains on staff in inpatient settings and in the community.

Now the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) deputy chief inspector of hospitals Paul Lelliott has declared that many inpatient wards in England are ‘unsafe’ because of out-of-date buildings not being properly cleaned, the use of mixed-sex wards and a general shortage of nurses.

Summer report

The CQC is due to produce a report, based on inspections carried out in December, in the summer, but Dr Lelliott spoke about its findings at a conference in London last month.

With 60% of services ‘requiring improvement’, the CQC report will no doubt call for something to be done .

With limited resources, packed wards and community staff at full stretch, making the difference required is going to be a challenge for everyone involved, including the service users on the receiving end of care.

Mental Health Practice will be monitoring progress, and we are keen to hear from you about your own experiences of caring under pressure.

Get involved

There is still time to book a place on this year’s Mental Health Practice conference on 10 May in Manchester.

Speakers at the conference include Professor Tony Butterworth, who will be talking about the Playing our Part review of mental health nursing, College of Policing inspector Michael Brown (@mentalhealthcop), who will be discussing changes to the Mental Health Act and the police’s role, RCN mental health lead Ian Hulatt, talking about mindfulness, and Mental Health Network chief executive Sean Duggan, who will be speaking about the NHS’s priorities over the next five years.

It would be great to see you there.

You can sign up by clicking here

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