York mental health service staff issued with redundancy notices

10 Oct 2019 @ 7.46 am
| Health

Members of a key team of mental health workers have been issued with redundancy notices.

YorkMix broke the news last Friday that the Primary Care Mental Health Team was about to be axed after less than a year.

In response, the commissioning body which launched the initiative, the Vale of York CCG, has said it would look to find the money to continue it until next March.

Earlier this week, however, members of the ten-strong team were issued with redundancy notices by their employer the Priory Medical Group, which runs several GP surgeries around York.

One worker told YorkMix that while some workers were on two months’ notice of redundancy, others employed for less than six months only had one week’s notice.

The CCG said it would be issuing a statement about the situation on Friday.

Healthwatch criticism

The news comes as the decision to close the service came under fire from a York health watchdog.

The Primary Care Mental Health Team helps people who visit their GP with symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.

The team could help about 6,000 people a year and has been available through a number of GP practices across the city.

A spokesperson for Healthwatch York said plans to scrap it were perverse:

  • It is clear from the comments we receive that many people in York experiencing mental ill health, and their families, feel let down.

    They have faced a continual struggle to gain access to services that can support them.

    Despite recent improvements in crisis support across our area, what people really want is early help.

    Such help enables people to avoid ending up in crisis. By preventing crisis, we help people live better lives, recover faster, and reduce the likelihood of family breakdown.

    This service has given this support to some of those waiting for help.

    At a time when we are all talking about early intervention and prevention, when the NHS Long Term Plan supports this approach, this feels like a perverse decision.

Healthwatch urged anyone affected by this to get in touch with us to share their feedback. You can visit its website here.

Additional reporting: Chloe Laversuch, Local Democracy Reporter