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‘Huge problems’ posed by gaps in mental health nurse training

15th October 2015

New research has identified serious gaps in nurse training in key mental health therapies.

The therapies form part of new government standards for treating psychosis, which require that from April 2016 over half of those people experiencing a first episode of psychosis should be treated with a NICE compliant care package within 2 weeks of referral.

However, new figures have shown that between 70% and 80% of those staff expected to deliver such packages do not have up to date training in the four key areas of treatment: cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy interventions, physical health monitoring, and vocational support.

The figures come from a recent workforce survey, which covered 280 NHS staff, including 130 community psychiatric nurses.

Research coordinator Sarah Amani, a senior programme manager for the Early Intervention in Psychosis Preparedness Programme, commented on the findings to the Nursing Times.

She said that current gaps in training in her region were a “huge problem” for nurses.

“It’s not as simple as saying none of them are trained in things like CBT and family intervention.”

“Some have been trained but due to shrinking teams they haven’t been able to keep up with their supervision or accreditation to deliver the therapy, so they have reverted back to their generic role of being a community psychiatric nurse and care coordinator.”

A spokeswoman for Health Education England said: “HEE is currently working closely with NHS England and the four regional EIP Preparedness Teams to fully understand skill gaps across professions in advance of the April 2016 service delivery standards.

“HEE has both funding and a strategy in place to train staff where gaps are present. This will be implemented during the next six months,” she said.

One way in which organisations can ensure that all staff have the same level of training is by offering an online training course. These courses can be undertaken at an appropriate time, and negate the need to take all staff out of work to conduct training sessions.

To find out more about designing and creating an online training course with OCB Media, call us today on 0116 285 5993.