mental health nurses more time with patients, government report urges
Mental health nurses should spend more of their time in direct clinical
contact with patients and cut back on administrative duties, a government
review has urged.
The review, entitled "From
Values to Action", lays out the role of mental health nurses
over the next 10 years. It has taken into account government race
equality reforms and planned changes to mental health law as outlined
in a new mental health bill.
The review, launched last week,
also recommends that the role of the health service's
47,000 mental health nurses should be to provide more
psychological therapies, help improve the physical wellbeing of
patients and promote
social inclusion for patients and their carers.
health minister Rosie Winterton said the time was right “to
provide mental health nurses with a new direction and clear future
role in order to deliver government reforms such as the mental health
bill, personalised choice and care”.
The government’s chief nursing
officer Christine Beasley said: "This report aims to help mental
health nurses, their organisations and professional leaders put
in place the practical changes that will make a difference to service
users. I want this review to be used on the ground to shape everyday
practice wherever care is given to mental health service users and
Sophie Corlett, director of policy at the mental health charity
Mind, said she was "delighted" at the review's encouragement
of a more active role for nurses in engaging with patients.
often we hear of a lack of interaction between the two, particularly
on wards where patients may feel alone and abandoned," she
Values to Action
23, 2006: Government drops key proposals of draft mental health
bill - new "streamlined” bill will be an amendment
to the present mental health act, says mental health minister Rosie
health nursing comment
16, 2005: It's time the giant of mental health nursing woke up -
Input from mental health nurses is markedly absent from clinical
guidelines produced by The National Institute for Clinical Excellence,
say Phil Barker and Poppy Buchanan-Barker. It's time, they argue,
that mental health nurses had their own representative body to stand
up for them.
Pete Moss, programme manager, Richmond Fellowship, Western Australia
July 7, 2006
I would agree - adding that all mental health workers should be
able to spend more time with clients.
'recovery' concept should be explored more in terms of the individual
needs of the client, and of getting the optimum balance between
medication-psychosocial applications: preferably, where possible,
with the aim to minimise medication and eventually relying more
on psychosocial methods.
seems to me that the disconnection brought about by isolation etc,
experienced by all mentally distressed individuals, is exascerbated
by understaffing of acute wards - usually staffed by hard-pressed
people whose first language is not English, and hence tend to lose
out on the nuances of various English dialects. This raises resistances
and barriers in the exchanges between patient and staff member,
adding to the confusion of an already very confused patient, and
(I suspect) staff person.
CMHT teams that I've met have been worthy of great praise for their
dedication and hard work in trying to band-aid a mental health.
system in bad need of repair and reform. Burnout is a regular ocurrence
adding to the difficulties of keeping staff and of maintaing anything
like continuity of service so badly needed - especially in the area
of mental health
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