The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today (Thursday, 10th June ) welcomed the publication of the Mental Health Commission Review Examining the Impacts and Response to Covid -19 in Residential Mental Health Services and said it was a timely and valuable review of the impact of Covid-19 on a particularly vulnerable part of our health services and the lessons that need to be learned for future investment in mental health facilities.
PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes the MHC Review highlighted the essential element that front line staff, and in particular nurses provide in delivering mental health services and the enormous commitment nurses made to maintain those services even when many nurses had themselves contracted the virus.
“This Review, and the experience on the ground, confirms that nursing staff in the mental health services showed enormous professionalism, dedication and indeed bravery, in ensuring that the safety and care of service users were maintained at the highest level throughout the enormously challenging period of the pandemic."
“The Review also points to the inadequacy of many current residential and in-patient facilities with shared bedrooms and limited ability for isolation and highlights the need for these to be replaced through substantial ongoing investment in the provision of modern single occupancy residential units that are fit for purpose. The need for this investment is clearly set out as a key commitment in the Sharing the Vision mental health strategy which recommends : 'Capital investment should be made available to redesign or build psychiatric units in acute hospitals which create a therapeutic and recovery supportive environment’.
This commitment must now be delivered on.”