Lack of resources has been a major restriction on the development of mental health services. However, even with the resources currently available there are insufficient numbers of trained medical, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology and social work staff to maintain services to adequate levels in many areas. This seriously interferes with provision of services, especially in acute wards but also in other areas. It certainly restricts developments and the use of skills attained through training (e.g. from THORN psychosocial intervention courses (Gournay & Birley, 1998)). The introduction of crisis resolution and early intervention teams, as described in the NHS Implementation Guide (Department of Health, 2001a), looks likely to simply deprive in-patient wards and community teams of staff, making the new teams ineffective through lack of core services. This will occur directly by recruitment of staff from them, or competitively through taking new entrants from nursing and social work programmes. Solutions proposed have included increasing numbers of support workers and administration staff; recruitment from abroad; or increased delegation of tasks, but there remains a need for more appropriately-trained professional staff.
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