Staff morale low in mental health team

Staff morale low in mental health team

Staff morale low in mental health team

First published in News by

CONCERNS have been raised by a watchdog over Swindon’s mental health services’ ability to provide essential patient care in the midst of staff shortages.

After inspections at three of its recovery teams in the region, including North Wiltshire, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS failed to meet two of the five standards expected of any healthcare provider from the Care Quality Commission.

Despite some progress since the service was overhauled, leading to staff being redeployed and management restructured in 2012, AWP was still found to be lagging behind, with sporadic patient support and insufficient staffing levels to cope with increasing caseloads.

“We received mixed views about the service,” inspectors said in their report. “Some people were happy with the frequency of their visits/contacts and felt the service was reliable. They spoke positively about the staff.

“In some areas, most notably North Wiltshire, some people were dissatisfied with infrequent or irregular contact with the service and the lack of continuity.

“Some people still experienced difficulty accessing the service and some people were very anxious about the prospect of being discharged and not being able to access support.”

Staffing and the shortage of qualified and experienced employees able to deal with service users was also deplored by the watchdog. Heavy caseloads had proved demoralising for staff who were left feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

“There were not enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs,” inspectors went on. “Most of the staff in the three teams we visited felt that staffing levels had improved and caseloads were now more manageable; however some staff, particularly in North Wiltshire, told us that they were still concerned about their workload and the effect this had on them as workers and on the service they could provide.

“A medical practitioner told us: ‘We have been let down as a service through lack of resources and clear leadership. It is frustrating and demoralising’. Staff member D said: ‘Team morale is not good because of staffing levels. It is frustrating that there is an expectation that staff will soldier on. Lots of staff are working many more hours than they are paid for’.”

This impacted on service users who also told inspectors they felt abandoned by the system.

An AWP spokesman said a plan of action had been submitted to the CQC and that full time management cover would be provided to support staff.

“We were aware of the issues raised in the report, which is part of an ongoing inspection programme for AWP’s community services,” he said.

“The latest report acknowledges improvements in access to, and quality of community services and we have taken immediate action to ensure full-time management cover in North Wiltshire. A trust-wide action plan has been submitted and we look forward to further CQC feedback on improvements made.”

Comments (3)

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11:08am Sun 30 Mar 14

I_Don't_Care says...

Thats it... blame it on staff shortages... not at all that the 'mental health team' have no empathy and discharge patients who need help more than ever!!!! makes me soo angry! Im putting in a complaint as we speak!!!!
Thats it... blame it on staff shortages... not at all that the 'mental health team' have no empathy and discharge patients who need help more than ever!!!! makes me soo angry! Im putting in a complaint as we speak!!!! I_Don't_Care
  • Score: 6

11:49pm Sun 30 Mar 14

tuki1234 says...

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  • Score: 0

4:25pm Mon 31 Mar 14

underdogs says...

Another very good story by Marion Sauvebois that identifies some of the problems within Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership that still exist despite a new chairman of the board and a new chief executive being in post for some considerable time now ? Maybe the departure of the Director of Nursing Hazel Watson around last Christmas may help things to improve - although of course these latest inspections were carried out in March ?? Why the staff shortages - I ask myself who would choose to work for AWP given its track record ?? As a supposed patient of the North Wiltshire Team - whose staff appear as rare as rocking horse **** , who do not return my phone calls or answer my letters when I am forced to write to them to try to get SOME care - I have been left without ANY care for over 30 months now - despite a serious long term diagnosis made by them !! When I try to telephone my psychiatrist he is never available, when I complain of NEGLECT and ask to see him he ignores me, when I write to him he ignores me, I write to his manager - he ignores me . Do they have a licence to kill ? I go to their board meeting and ask about the significant neglect and delay I am suffering - Mr Tony Gallagher the chair ADJOURNS the meeting and leads the board members out of the room ! I have found this organisation to be rotten from the top down - only met up with two good staff but they both resigned and left ! My GP tried writing to them too - but as the 'medical practitioner' mentioned in this article she too was let down and they didnt reply, talk about ' clear leadership' !! The board and senior managers are a feeble excuse accountable for the unfit for purpose this mental health trust fails to provide. Sorry for the staff who work for them - thank you for the few that do care - I wish I could meet you ! I feel totally abandoned by this part of the NHS, if you get mental health injury or ill health MOVE OUT OF AWPs AREA ! I have been reading about these supposed " ACTION PLANS " at AWP for more than TEN YEARS NOW ! , whats the point in flogging this dead horse - it appears unable to recover itself let alone help the patients !! CLOSE AWP DOWN .
Another very good story by Marion Sauvebois that identifies some of the problems within Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership that still exist despite a new chairman of the board and a new chief executive being in post for some considerable time now ? Maybe the departure of the Director of Nursing Hazel Watson around last Christmas may help things to improve - although of course these latest inspections were carried out in March ?? Why the staff shortages - I ask myself who would choose to work for AWP given its track record ?? As a supposed patient of the North Wiltshire Team - whose staff appear as rare as rocking horse **** , who do not return my phone calls or answer my letters when I am forced to write to them to try to get SOME care - I have been left without ANY care for over 30 months now - despite a serious long term diagnosis made by them !! When I try to telephone my psychiatrist he is never available, when I complain of NEGLECT and ask to see him he ignores me, when I write to him he ignores me, I write to his manager - he ignores me . Do they have a licence to kill ? I go to their board meeting and ask about the significant neglect and delay I am suffering - Mr Tony Gallagher the chair ADJOURNS the meeting and leads the board members out of the room ! I have found this organisation to be rotten from the top down - only met up with two good staff but they both resigned and left ! My GP tried writing to them too - but as the 'medical practitioner' mentioned in this article she too was let down and they didnt reply, talk about ' clear leadership' !! The board and senior managers are a feeble excuse accountable for the unfit for purpose this mental health trust fails to provide. Sorry for the staff who work for them - thank you for the few that do care - I wish I could meet you ! I feel totally abandoned by this part of the NHS, if you get mental health injury or ill health MOVE OUT OF AWPs AREA ! I have been reading about these supposed " ACTION PLANS " at AWP for more than TEN YEARS NOW ! , whats the point in flogging this dead horse - it appears unable to recover itself let alone help the patients !! CLOSE AWP DOWN . underdogs
  • Score: 7

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