Editorial

Three cheers for the truth

It is refreshing to learn that a senior civil servant has been frank about the state of finances and the workforce in NHS mental health services.

It is refreshing to learn that a senior civil servant has been frank about the state of finances and the workforce in NHS mental health services.

Nurses and other health professionals are doing their best in trying circumstances, so it is gratifying to see this acknowledged by someone right at the top of the NHS.

This does not happen very often, partly because civil servants are bound by a code of conduct and, partly I would guess, because they want to keep their jobs. Jim Mackey, head of the new regulator NHS Improvement, effectively told an audience of senior staff that funding was short, workforce planning was a shambles and that there was no quick fix in sight.

People in top posts in government agencies have a tough job to do: the government sets the agenda and the civil servants have to deliver its plans, and defend them, even if they may be a long way from being adequate, well-resourced or sensible.

At least Mr Mackey was honest enough to tell it as it is, and to suggest that others in senior positions do the same

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So let’s say three cheers for Mr Mackey – at least he was honest enough to tell it as it is, and to suggest that others in senior positions do the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things will not change until that message gets through to the government: there has been rhetoric about extra resources for mental health services, but I have yet to see any evidence of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve seen evidence of the missing millions (or is it billions?), please tell me about it: I would love to share some good news with our readers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email me and I will do my bit to make sure that praise is delivered where it is due.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a different topic my colleague Cris Allen is stepping down as consultant editor of Mental Health Practice. He has been a wonderful colleague to work with and I will miss his contribution to this journal. Thanks a million, Cris! Couldn’t have done it without you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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