Mental health jobs will only scratch the surface – even if they happen

Mental health jobs will only scratch the surface of the problem, according to union GMB.

The Conservatives today announced that 21,000 new jobs in mental health will be created in the NHS.

But continued staff shortages, overstretched and stressed out workers and overcrowded hospitals will undoubtedly see people die unnecessarily, the union believes.

The Government claims it will recruit enough nurses, therapists and consultants to treat an extra one million patients by 2020-21.

Even though the NHS has lost 5,161 specialist mental health nurses since 2010 – a fall of 13 per cent.

Meanwhile NHS vacancies overall have rocketed in recent years under the Conservative Government.

Kevin Brandstatter, GMB National Officer, said: “Many will welcome the Government’s decision to recruit more staff into the NHS.

“However the reality is that the NHS is in the middle of an enormous staffing crisis.

“There are thousands of vacancies throughout the NHS and this recruitment – even if it actually happens – will only scratch the surface of the problem, in one particular area.

“The staff shortages are linked closely to continued unnecessary cap on which is squeezing the wages of our public sector workers.

“The Government has a political policy of starving the NHS of resources, as it pursues policies making the rich even richer at the expense of the rest of us.

“GMB is very clear about what we need to do to put this right.

“Firstly, the Government needs to lift the pay cap, give all NHS staff a decent pay rise not just to counteract inflation but also to make up the thousands of pounds pinched from pay packets over the years of pay restraint.

“Secondly, the Government needs to recognise that the NHS needs a substantial amount of investment to enable it to deliver proper health care.

“Continued staff shortages, overstretched and stressed out workers and overcrowded hospitals will undoubtedly see people die unnecessarily.

“The responsibility for these avoidable deaths will lie at the door of the Health Secretary.”

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