On the 3rd and 4th of February, New Savoy held their 9th annual 'Psychological Therapies in the NHS' at the Millenium conference centre in London. A wide range of mental health professionals attended the conference, such as politicians, commissioners, policy makers, researchers, psychologists and ehealth providers. We heard many great talks and debates during our two days there. We've chosen three highlights for you to read a little bit about:
1. Staff wellbeing survey and charter
Dr Chris Manning, director of Upstream Health Limited, and Dr Lise Hertel, member of NICE Commissioning Reference Panel, kicked off the the first day of the conference. They talked about the importance of staff wellbeing by linking to their own personal stories. We thought it was very refreshing to hear mental health professionals draw parallels to their own own mental health struggles!
The British Psychological Society and New Savoy conducted a staff wellbeing survey in 2015. The results and analysis of that survey of over 1,300 psychological professionals were presented during the first day of the conference:
- 46% of the psychological professionals report depression
- 49.5% report feeling they are a failure
- 25% consider they have a long-term, chronic condition
- 70% of the staff are finding their jobs stressful
As you can see, psychological therapies' staff in the NHS are reporting high levels of depression and stress. Therefore a charter for staff wellbeing has been launched. It will work to re-set the balance in the drive to improve access to psychological therapies and aims to put focus on staff wellbeing by encouraging more reflective and generative discussions between colleagues, other leaders, and front line staff across the NHS. Here at Minddistrict we too recognise the importance of staff wellbeing. We mustn't forget that the NHS is a people driven organisation. Their staff are the people who drive patients empowerment in their journey to recovery. As such we feel that digital interventions should also be made available for carers in order to ensure that they can do what they love and stay champions in supporting others in need.
Wellbeing Charter Consultation Roundtable meeting #NewSavoy2016 to ask what the core issues are for staff wellbeing. What do you think?— Surviving Work (@SurvivingWk) February 4, 2016
2. Greater use of digital platforms in the NHS
Karen Turner, Director of Mental Health, NHS England, outlined the next steps for IAPT. We we're happy to see that one of those steps was greater use of digital platforms.
Some people might have to wait for a really long time to access psychological therapies, or due to stigma hurdles they can't access at all. It's great to see that the NHS recognises that we can use cost-effective and flexible digital technology to improve access to care. Through technology, we can support the transformation of our services and empower individuals to take charge of their own recovery.
#iapt David Clarke “Digital don’t replace therapists but enhance and allow them to see more patients “ #NewSavoy2016 — Chris Eldridge (@ChristoEldridge) February 3, 2016
We are keen to hear more about where- and in what way- digital platforms are required to improve access and help therapist to further extend personalised support.
Psst...We would love to take the NHS on a digital journey!
3. Welfare support to those with mental health issues
Day 2 included a presentation of the planned work in Manchester that will support people with mental health conditions into employment. They stated that 15.2 million workdays have been lost due to stress, anxiety and depression in 2013 at a cost of 30 billion pounds. Lord Freud held this discussion along with chair Mark Easton.
However, there were some concerns raised following this initiative. For example, how do we define "work"? Will a job really be the best solution for a person with mental health issues? Perhaps is it not about work per se that will support people with mental health issues, but rather the sense of being part of a community?
Session on mental health & employment. Interesting question: how do we define "work"? Meaningful activity? Payment? Volunteer? #newsavoy2016 — Becky Prestland (@Becky_Prestland) February 4, 2016
Is getting a job always a good thing compared to other choices? What kind of job? #NewSavoy2016— Pete Bull (@Pete__Bull) February 4, 2016
Thank you for joining!
Thanks for all the engaging discussions, and it was great to have you at our stand! We enjoyed getting to talk to such a wide range of professionals. It's exciting to know that we all can contribute to improve the access and quality of psychological therapies.
We hope to hear from you again soon. If you have any questions or want to know more about what we do, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org of follow us on Twitter. To see more highlights from the conference, look at #NewSavoy2016