RCPsych Wales - Senedd Cymru Election 2021
16 April, 2020
Ahead of the Senedd Cymru election in 2021, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales are calling for parity between physical and mental health services with access to the right services in the right place and communities working together to reduce poor mental health.
It is essential to the College that those who suffer from mental illness or who have learning disabilities, or both, receive the same quality of care and the same access to services as they would if they had a physical illness, and that services are equally funded.
We are also proposing a number of measures for Welsh Government to ensure that wellbeing is prioritised in its budget and considers learning from international examples. We also aim to work closely with the Future Generations Commissioner in order to ascertain how public bodies can lead the way in increasing provisions for mental health and learning disabilities, and whether this can be extended to businesses throughout a foundational economy programme.
Amongst many focus areas and priorities, we would like to see:
- An increase in the number of psychiatric posts in the Welsh NHS, especially in the fields of old age psychiatry, addictions, and eating disorders. This should also include developing an attractive higher training programme for medical psychotherapy, as well as a career pathway for physician associates into mental health.
- The fostering of mental health research in Wales, supporting and building upon its potential and successes through increased investment and opportunity for individual academic development.
- Increased transparency from individual health boards. We would like to see health board funding and spend data published by speciality and service each quarter. This will allow health boards to be held to account with regards to how they fund services. Equally, we would like to see funding of mental health services increased ‘across the board’ from 11% in 2018/19 to at least 13% by 2028/29.
- The quality of care available improved through the use of quality improvement methods in mental health services; all mental health and learning disability services should be accredited under quality improvement networks.
- Improved availability of psychological therapies and the reduction of inappropriate out of area placements, ensuring that people would be able to access adequate, local, mental health and learning disability provisions in their area.
The College has also identified a number of projects and innovations that we would like the Welsh Government to consider in the context of mental health within this manifesto, alongside the recommendations and measures that seek to achieve parity between services.
It is our aim that in achieving this parity in Wales, we will not only create a Wales with excellent secondary mental health services that delivers the outcomes for patients with mental illness and learning disabilities that they want to achieve, but that we can support the prevention of mild to moderate mental illness in future generations to come.
We'll be building upon our manifesto work ahead of the Senedd Cymru elections, identifying individual recommendations for specialisms over the coming months and updating as we go forward.