The Welsh chapter of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, along with ten other royal colleges and professional bodies, have renewed calls for the urgent transformation of mental health services to address increasing demands on the NHS in Wales.
Representatives of the Royal College Mental Health Expert Advisory Group joined members of the Senedd in Cardiff to outline the work of the group over the past year and to explain why a well-trained, fully supported and equipped multi-disciplinary workforce is critical for the development of care for people with mental health conditions.
To make sustainable change happen, the group is calling for a greater focus by the Welsh government and NHS Wales on the following:
- The critical changes needed to improve the delivery and structure of mental health services across Wales in community, hospital and specialist secure settings.
- Parity of access to mental health services for the most vulnerable patients, ensuring they have equal access opportunities that vulnerable patients would receive for physical health conditions.
- The well-being of the workforce to improve staff retention, continuity of care and the delivery of safe and effective care across the health and social care system.
- Workforce development, making use of the widest skill-mix possible across the professions, and an increase in the numbers of specialist mental health professionals to meet the growing demands on mental health services.
The multi-professional expert group was established to bring together partners from across health and social care services to address key challenges in mental health service provision and to act as a source of impartial, evidenced-based expert advice for the Welsh Government, NHS Wales and other stakeholders. The group celebrates its first anniversary by hosting this parliamentary event and publishing an annual report of its work to date.
Elen Jones, RPS director for Wales, said: “RPS Wales is delighted to be a part of the Royal College Mental Health Expert Advisory Group and to work alongside our colleagues to influence positive change in the delivery of care for people with mental health conditions.
“Providing pharmacy input to this multi-professional work is very important to us, contributing evidence and examples of good pharmacy practice to drive forward service innovation so the Welsh population can be assured of access to appropriate care, at the right time and in the right place.
“The Group’s focus on Covid-19 recovery, inequalities in mental health, and workforce development has allowed for effective collective representation in the work of the Senedd. I would like to congratulate the group on its influential work over the past year and wish the group every success in the future.”