Joined-up working in the NHS does not go far enough

Basics outweigh theory, insists Jane Bates.

Basics outweigh theory, insists Jane Bates

The NHS is good at joined-up working, said a social worker friend. If you have an accident requiring treatment from different disciplines – say neurology and orthopaedics – there is well-established co-operation on all sides.

It’s good to hear the NHS praised, especially from someone who works alongside it… and he’s right. This is where it often excels. But there is a glaring exception: psychiatry.

Mental health provision shortfalls have been well documented in recent months, even by royalty, and about time. The Mental Health Foundation in England says one in four will experience this kind of problem in any given year.

Even at the ‘milder’ end of the spectrum, any disorder of the mind can be life-changing; complicating or running concurrently with our physical wellbeing.

Patient A needs urgent cancer treatment, but has addiction issues. The system,


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