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Mental health outsourcing raises concerns

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Campaigners argue that a health trust’s new plan to outsource mental health care by putting patients on Skype to workers in “lower wage countries” is unacceptable. The idea was proposed in a recent report put forward by the mental health trust for Norfolk and Suffolk.  Unison, which represents mental health staff, said that the idea failed to show any understanding of how mental health care actually works. A trust spokesman said that the proposal was looked at by the government but immediately dismissed.

The idea was first raised at the end of last summer, contained in a successful application to the government by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). The application was put forward to fund consultants to examine new ways of running the trust. A second option was that the NSFT would become a mutual, meaning a firm owned by its workers.

‘not a very clear understanding’

After reading the report, Emma Corlett, a spokeswoman for Unison at the trust, said: “Our view of the report is that it shows whoever did the application did not have a very clear understanding of the work frontline staff do or the way face-to-face therapy works.

She added that individuals working with mental health patients should be highly skilled and well-paid. A spokesman for the campaign to ‘Save Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health’ agreed with this statement, arguing that the board clearly knew nothing about mental health care.

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