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Friday, 03 February 2017

New Mental Health Framework aims to increase quality and consistency of care

Written by The Editorial Team

Skills for Health, Health Education England, and Skills for Care have announced the launch of a new Core Skills Education and Training Framework for the mental health workforce, with the aim of increasing the quality and consistency of care in mental health services.

The Department of Health commissioned the framework as part of the cross-government strategy on mental health, No Health Without Mental Health. It aims to improve the way the health and social care workforce care for people with mental health issues by outlining the core skills and knowledge they need to provide high-quality services.

Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced a range of new measures to help transform attitudes to mental health, including increased training for teachers and employers, a review of support in the workplace and the provision of an additional £15million towards community-based care. However, such transformation cannot be achieved without an emphasis on workforce training and development.

With mental health services delivered by a diverse and extensive workforce, this new framework will determine standards for their education and training and help evaluate whether these have been met. It classifies key skills and knowledge into three tiers, ranging from general mental health awareness to the skills needed to care for people with complex mental health needs.

The hope is the framework will compliment rather than replace existing materials, while bringing together the training and resources currently available to create one consistent and coherent approach.

Setting out core training requirements will avoid duplication or repetition of training as individuals move between roles or organisations. It will also support increasing integration between health and social care services, helping improve communication, collaborative working, and providing opportunities for joint education and training.

John Rogers (pictured), Chief Executive, Skills for Health, said, “Quality of care is key to the wellbeing of people with mental health issues. This new framework outlines the knowledge and skills the workforce need to provide dedicated, high-quality care.  

“Employers or commissioners of training for this workforce are encouraged to use this framework to guide the development and delivery of appropriate, consistent education.  We believe that it will result in an increased quality of care for people with mental ill health  and their families.”