In light of the recent Care Provider Alliance (CPA) briefing, which highlights the urgent need for ‘a 1948 moment’ in the adult social care sector, the Association of Mental Health Providers, the representative body for voluntary and community sector mental health service providers and CPA member, calls for reforms to be inclusive of all adult social care providers.
The State of the Social Care and Support Provision in England briefing points out the issues facing the entire social care sector relate to workforce recruitment and retention challenges, with one in ten posts vacant, inadequate funding, the gap being in excess of £7bn, and the rising costs of living adding to the structural instability.
Key cost pressures are workforce pay and agency costs, energy, fuel and food inflation, and underfunded Local Authority budgets.
It states: “Without substantial reform and investment to support that reform, achieving long-term sustainability is impossible in the current economic climate.”
Chief Executive of the Association of Mental Health Providers, Kathy Roberts, says:
“While this report doesn’t specifically refer to mental health services, it does highlight the immense pressure on adult social care providers and the urgency to address unmet support needs in the community, which the mental health sector is a key part of.
In addition to being a part of the Care Provider Alliance’s call for reform, any reform needs to be inclusive of all service providers; the social care landscape must be viewed from a much wider lens, to include mental health, and also learning disabilities and autism service providers.
We believe there needs to be a greater emphasis on prevention in relation to the right support at the right time to prevent worsening mental health and relapse; if people are able to access the support they need in the community, as well as, first and foremost, responding to the needs of people, there is less impact on additional services, including the NHS in supporting these people, both in terms of fewer admissions and timely discharge with the appropriate care and support in place.
Our 300-plus members collectively deliver over 3000 services locally, regionally and nationally. The Mental Health Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) offers vital support to 8 million+ people with poor mental health and illness in the community, this equates to 1 in 8 people.
This essential support must not be underestimated.
It is a vital investment that is made at a grassroots level; through our Living Experience Advisory Group we’ve heard directly from people using services, many of whom feel they are on a constant roundabout of referrals, but if the support is given through a community provider, they are at least given much-needed support to navigate the system.
Where this investment is made also needs to reflect the need in the community; the data we have from our members clearly shows substantial inequalities when it comes to accessing mental health services across England.
We would welcome the opportunity to meet with Maria Caulfield, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Mental Health), to discuss the immediate challenges mental health service providers face, and show how significant investment in community mental health providers will relieve the pressure on, and continue to be a key support for, the NHS.
In our ever-changing landscape, our members would also seek consultation on the design of services to ensure these services constantly deliver appropriate support to the people that need them.
We hope the government seizes this opportunity to work with all the national partners in the CPA to radically rethink the delay and pump prime our nation’s social care provision to be fit for the future.”
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Note to editors
The Association of Mental Health Providers is the representative body for voluntary and community sector mental health organisations in England and Wales.
- 300 plus members,
- Delivering over 3000 services locally, regionally and nationally,
- reaching 8 million+ people with poor mental health and illness in the community. This equates to 1 in 8 people receiving support from a voluntary and community mental health provider.
Through our Living Experience Advisory Group, we are working with, being guided by, and learning from people with experience of mental health services.
For more information, visit www.amhp.org.uk
Contact: Annie Waddington-Feather
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