Cuts put patients at risk - staff

Date published: 07 May 2014

CONCERNED Oldham mental-health staff have warned of the risks to patients from “deep cuts” in their services.

A letter sent to the Chronicle, local MPs and Oldham Council, claims mental health services are at crisis point.

Signed by “concerned staff” representing health, social work and community support work staff, it points the finger at the council and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, which jointly provide Oldham’s mental health services.

It states: “Therapists have long waiting lists, crisis teams cannot respond quickly enough, dedicated mental health workers are buckling under increased workloads and either going on long-term sick, seeking other careers or being redeployed to other specialist areas.”

It details the effect the cuts are having on patients — “increased suffering” and longer waiting lists for assessments and support.

Paul Cassidy, director of adult and children’s services for Oldham Council, said: “We are continuing to try and protect our high-risk services, such as mental health, but unfortunately all our services are facing challenges due to reductions in our budgets from central government. We aim to support our staff in the best possible way.”