Remember, you can put a price on your actions but not on their consequences
I mean this is truly shocking, mental health services have actually kept in budget in recent years unlike most other sectors of the NHS. The government has also said on many occassions that mental health is one of the most important aspects of health care and must be protected. So obviously this means they should slash the budget?
For me personally as a resident of Hertfordshire and someone who has been in the system for over two years this, if it goes through will have a HUGE effect on me and the people around me who are also suffering.
For example an entire ward is being closed near by as well as direct referals to psychologists being cut drastically. This is in a county where GPs make over 400 referrals to mental health care teams every month and where there is already an average waiting list of 4 weeks (at least, many people have to wait much longer, for example i had to wait 3 months at my clinic).
Effects of this;
Working Age MH
1) St Julian’s Ward Closure 1000
2) Direct Access Psychology reductions 150
3) Day Services reductions 300
4) Early Intervention in Psychosis Service Closure 450
5) Community Mental Health Team staff reductions 250
6) Lister Adult Day Treatment Unit closure 100
7) Staff reductions Mental Health therapies 100
Drug & Alcohol
8) Reduction of Alcohol Services 146
Older People Mental Health
9) Seward Lodge Day Care Unit Closure 80
Child & Adolescent
10) Conduct Disorder service reduction 256
11) Therapy staff reductions 173
The numbers next to these things is the cost in pounds of doing this.
You can put a price on your actions but not on the consequences.
Hertfordshire faces significant cuts to mental health finances
Hertfordshire Partnership Trust are being forced to find cuts worth 5% of their annual budget as part of plans to reduce the NHS debt in Hertfordshire. Although the Trust has managed to balance their books over the past few years, they are still being asked to find nearly £5 million of ‘efficiency savings’. The proposed cuts include reductions to day services, the closure of St. Julian’s acute ward and the reduction of psychological services.
A public consultation, which starts today (20th March) and lasts until 3rd May, will ask the public, service users and carers their views. A number of public meetings will also be held across the county where people can express their concerns. Local Primary Care Trusts, who have an obligation to consult on significant service changes, will run these consultations.
Local mental health organisations are working hard to oppose the cuts, highlighting the increased distress and risk that users and carers will suffer. They also point out that the long-term financial implications caused by the proposed cuts will actually increase the NHS debt and put added pressure on the local mental health trust.
Viewpoint urges you to register your views with your local PCT and we will keep you informed of any developments. Links to the PCTs can be found on the Viewpoint ‘Useful links’ page.