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Government and politics, Mental health, Work and occupational

BPS and partners urge government and NHS England to reconsider staff wellbeing funding

With our partners, we've written to the government and NHS England to share our disappointment in the £2.3m funding provided for the NHS Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs.

26 July 2023

We've once again joined forces with our partner organisations to write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon. Steven Barclay, and NHS England chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, to express our disappointment in the £2.3m funding provided for the NHS Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs.

The letters, which are co-signed by key professional bodies in health and care, have been sent in response to the announcement that the hubs would receive £2.3m short-term funding for the rest of the year, with no mention of further funding or a clear plan for a new model of mental health support for NHS and social care staff.

The joint letter has been signed by Association of Clinical Psychologists UK, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Physicians, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, British Association of Social Workers, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, British Society for Haematology, and Royal College of Anaesthetists.

The funding disappointment comes despite the government saying only last month that wellbeing is fundamental to its staff retention strategy when it launched the long awaited NHS workforce plan.

The letter says that the level of funding provided to give staff the care and support they need must be reconsidered, and we've requested further discussion with the government and NHS England on the issue. 

Sarb Bajwa, chief executive of the British Psychological Society, said:

"Considering the escalating demand that the remaining NHS Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs tell us they are experiencing, it is deeply worrying that NHS England has allocated just £2.3million funding for a "scaled-back" hub provision for the rest of the year.

"Alongside our colleagues across health and care organisations, we're once again urging the health secretary and NHS England to reconsider its inadequate investment in staff wellbeing.

"The workforce plan simply cannot be achieved in the short or long term if staff don't have the mental health support they need and deserve. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with both parties to discuss staff mental health and wellbeing support that's fit for purpose."  

Over 1,000 people have now written to their MP in support of the BPS's #FundNHSHubs campaign, which has been calling on the government to provide a minimum of one year's ring-fenced funding for the NHS Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs, which have been a vital lifeline for health and care staff struggling with their mental health.

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