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GPs: No confidence in community mental health service

Four in five GPs say they have no confidence in their local community mental health services, according to a new survey. The study also reveals that many patients are being failed by the NHS. The research - seen exclusively by ITV News - quotes doctors saying delays in referrals to overstretched mental health teams, have resulted in patients harming themselves and even committing suicide.

ITV News health editor Catherine Jones reports:

NHS has 'a responsibility to women's mental healthcare'

The NHS has "a responsibility" to provide mental healthcare to pregnant women and new mums, according to an expert.

Dr Alain Gregoire, chairman of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, said mental health services should be treated with the same urgency as other aspects of prenatal care.

In almost half of the UK, women still have no access to community specialist perinatal mental health services.

We would be horrified if there were no maternity hospitals, and general surgeons were doing caesarean sections in large parts of the country.

Equitable access to specialist care for women's mental health at this time is just as important and the NHS has a responsibility to ensure that this is available.

– Dr Alain Gregoire

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Warning over mental healthcare care available to mums

New mums suffering from mental health problems could be missing out on life-saving care because of an NHS postcode lottery, experts have warned.

Read: Postnatal depression warning

Post-natal depression
New mums suffering from post-natal depression are left without adequate care in "large swathes" of the UK. Credit: PA

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) warned access to adequate perinatal mental health care was sparse in some parts of the country.

MMHA warned babies and mothers were put at risk if they could not access specialist mental healthcare staff who can provide life-saving care.

The organisation of more than 60 professional and patient organisations released a series of maps showing how accessible healthcare services for mentally ill mums were.

According to MMHA, the maps show that large swathes of Britain have no provision at all.

Read: Mum jailed after throwing baby down 40ft rubbish chute

Children's mental health services in 'crisis' after cuts

Cuts to mental health services for children have led to a national "crisis" in services across England, a charity has warned.

Children's mental health charity YoungMinds claimed services are at "breaking point", with parents "desperate" for help for their child.

The charity sent freedom of information requests to local health authorities across England to determine their level of spending on children and adolescent mental health services.

Fifty-nine out of 98 local authorities that responded had cut or frozen their budgets since 2010/11.

While 74 out of 96 clinical commissioning groups had frozen or cut its spending on services between 2013/14 and 2014/15.

Mental and physical health to be 'treated the same'

Dr Geraldine Strathdee, NHS England's national clinical director for mental health has said that she is "committed" to making sure that mental health is treated the same way as physical health in England.

Dr Geraldine Strathdee has said that NHS England is working hard to close the gap between the two. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

She said the "NHS England is working hard to close the gap between the two with great support from partners and the field."

Read more: 'Lifestyle MOTS' for mentally ill patients

'Lifestyle MOTS' for mentally ill patients

Mentally ill patients are to be given extra checks as health chiefs try to stem the high number of premature deaths among those with conditions like depression and schizophrenia, NHS England have said.

Read: Equality for mentally ill patients urged

Doctor
Mentally ill patients are dying of recognisable heath conditions prematurely, health chiefs have warned. Credit: PA

Hundreds of thousands of mentally ill people are dying 15 years premature, despite suffering from the same health problems as the general public, according to health chiefs.

Those with serious mental issues have the same time life expectancy as the general population did in the 1950s.

Now health officials are trying to stem the tide of avoidable deaths by offering all mental health patients "lifestyle MoTs" as well as assessing their psychological needs, NHS England has announced.

Read: Clegg: Locking up mentally ill in police cells 'unacceptable'

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Equality for mental health patients urged

People with mental illnesses and intellectual disabilities are dying earlier as a result of a failure to address their needs by the NHS, the doctors' union has warned.

Urgent action is needed to ensure equal value is placed on both patients' mental and physical health in the face of "distressing" evidence about the life expectancy of the mentally ill and people with learning disabilities, a report by the British Medical Association (BMA) board of science has said.

Union: Teachers face 'unrelenting stress'

Teachers suffer from "unrelenting" stress which begins from when they start their working day until they go to bed, according to the head of a teacher's union.

Mary Bousted, the General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers warned Daybreak teachers were already working 60 hours a weak and faced "the most unpaid overtime of any profession".

Govt: Teaching has 'never been more attractive'

The Government defended the workload it was leaving teachers with, saying statistics showed the profession had "never been more attractive".

Despite evidence showing a sharp rise in the number of teachers struggling with mental health issues, a Department of Education spokeswoman said:

We know that the vast majority of teachers and school leaders are hard-working and dedicated professionals, and statistics show that teaching has never been more attractive, more popular or more rewarding.

A record number of top graduates are now applying to become teachers and vacancy rates are at their lowest since 2005.

We are giving teachers more freedoms than ever and cutting unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy.

We trust the professionalism of our headteachers to work with their staff to ensure they receive the support they need and to see that any issues are addressed.

– Department for Education Spokeswoman

Poll: Work leaves '70% of teachers exhausted'

Almost three-quarters of teachers admitted feeling exhausted long after the school bell had rung for the day, a survey has shown.

A poll from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers found:

  • Some 70% said they are left feeling exhausted by their work.
  • Two thirds, (66%) said it disturbs their sleep.
  • A massive 80% said working as a teacher left them feeling stressed.
  • ATL warned a stigma attached to mental health issues means many people are afraid to tell their employers they are suffering - 68% of those dealing with a mental health problem chose to keep it a secret from bosses.
  • Only 38% of those who kept a physical health issue to themselves.

Read: Mental health problems in teachers rise by 'over a third'

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