Data analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists has revealed a “postcode lottery” scenario for people being referred to specialist mental health care. Worryingly, this information has been exposed at the same time as mental health referrals nationwide have increased by 12%.
With this increase in referrals comes serious disparity in the number of appropriately qualified professionals in certain areas. For instance, per 100,000 people in Scotland, there are 10 consultant psychiatrists, whereas there are just 6 in Wales, and 8 in England.
However, within England itself comes further imbalance; London and the north-east of England have 11 qualified consultants per 100,000, whereas the south-west has 6, like Wales, and Yorkshire has just 5.
This means that there are instances whereby people are often being referred to services outside of their own towns and counties. For some, this enhances the sensation of isolation that may already be affecting their mental health.
With our health services facing many pressures of this kind, the importance of common knowledge is paramount. Collectively, we can always enhance our knowledge of mental health conditions by being aware of what local services we have access to, and how to recognise and empathetically address the needs of sufferers.
The government did recently announce that there would be an extra 500+ consultants in the sector by 2020, but with the number of referrals continuing to rise, this may not be any more of a solution then, than it is now.
At Hygia, we recognise the importance of being up to date with what is happening in our healthcare services, as well as what is happening to the people they are treating. An important aspect of our training courses is the level of communication we have within our sessions, including what is affecting our trainees and the topics we cover in detail.
Even when statistics like this are presented, and the possibility of treatment and recovery can seem to be farther away than ever, by carrying messages of hope and knowledge we can ensure that nobody ever has to suffer alone.
To discuss mental health training for you, your staff or your business, contact us and we can continue to share.