WORKFORCE: A review of mental health services in Herefordshire has found many services were suffering from long term understaffing.

The review by the West Midlands Quality Review Service also looked at health services for people with learning disabilities, dementia services and care of vulnerable adults in acute hospitals provided by 2gether Foundation Trust and Wye Valley Trust.

The report said: “Reviewers identified several mental health services with low staffing levels and where staff had become accustomed to working under considerable pressure. Senior staff in [2gether] and [NHS Herefordshire] were aware of the issues that needed to be addressed and plans were in place for strengthening staffing levels. 2gether NHS Foundation Trust was also addressing staff training, care planning, risk assessment, risk management and clinical supervision.”

In addition, the review raised concerns about a lack of service user involvement in mental health services. However, reviewers noted plans were in place for improvements and the health economy was still going through upheaval following the transfer of community services from the PCT.

Gloucester based 2gether Foundation Trust took on mental health services in neighbouring Herefordshire, while community services went to Herefordshire Hospitals Trust which has now formed the integrated health and social care provider Wye Valley.