Extra £8m funding boost will slash mental health waiting times

Photo: LPFT, director of strategy Jane Marshall

An extra £8-million of funding will mean waiting times for mental health services across Lincolnshire will be slashed by months.

Until recently people may have had to wait up to four months, but in some cases that was as long as a year. Now the health trust aims to have everyone seen within four weeks, and given support prior to their appointment.

The money will help bring mental health services into the community, meaning people will have to travel less to get help. Waiting times will be cut to a month and support will be given to clients while they wait.

Jane Marshall, director of strategy at Lincoln Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT), said the new funding will allow services to provide quality community care.

She said: “The money will allow us to put together a digital platform so that people can access information online. Services will be more community based and support will be available closer to where people live.

“With this money, we aim to deliver a four-week wait which is an improvement on our previous waiting time. It will be a maximum of four weeks but support will be locally available to you while you wait. ”

However, the health union Unison, says the money will only partially undo previous damage done by cutbacks.

Elliot Dean, regional organiser at Unison, said: “At Unison we welcome all new funding but what people need to understand is that this funding will only repair the results of 10 years of financial cuts and the damage that has been done.

“The money will release some of that burden but it will not be fully lifted and that’s when we turn to the government for help with staffing across Lincolnshire.”

Lincolnshire is one of 12 areas across the country to receive funding as part of the NHS long term plan. The overall funding will be £8 million over two years but £3.5 million will be received by the end of March.

The National Counselling Society (NCS) is a professional association which holds a register of qualified counsellors who are able to provide people with that extra support and guidance.



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