Mental Healthcare: Embracing new standards

Published: 4 October 2016

The aim of the NHS Five Year Forward View for mental health is to provide clarity for the sector, recommendations for improvement and a cash injection of £1 billion by 2020/21. This rapid intervention is the first time that addressing mental health issues has truly been considered as important as addressing physical care provisions. 

One of the biggest initiatives set out in the strategy is the introduction of waiting time standards, mirroring those of Accident & Emergency. The sector is expected to treat patients in mental health crisis within four hours; giving these patients the same priority treatment as those experiencing a physical emergency. This initiative appears positive in its intentions, as it balances the priority of mental and physical treatments; giving patients an understanding of expectations of the service.  However given that not all acute trusts meet their 4 hour A&E target, how successful will it be in the mental health sector?

Trusts are now going to be under the spotlight and facing more scrutiny than before. The strength and feeling of the leadership teams will have a major impact on how trusts react and adapt to these changes. The presence of strong leaders that embrace the changes and see them as an opportunity to strive for success rather than a just another method of measurement, could help to drive a trust forward and have a positive impact to both staff morale and patient care. Given the sector is facing a radical upheaval, especially with shrinking budgets and increasing patient numbers, there could be great value in looking outside of sector for credible leaders that are used to dealing with change and tough targets and can bring a fresh perspective to the sector.  Working with an executive search partner provides the reach and networks to access potential candidates outside the healthcare sector, vastly broadening the talent pool available.

As a leading firm in senior healthcare recruitment, Berwick Partners has a strong understanding of the complex dynamics in NHS mental healthcare. We have a longstanding reputation for delivering results, bringing enthusiasm, knowledge and drive as part of our approach to providing outstanding services. We understand the importance of recruiting strong leaders with credibility, gravitas and the passion for making a positive difference to patients’ lives.

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