‘Richard Thompson’s description of overworked clinicians running close to like scalded cats sums up the pressure for doctors in the NHS.’ Photograph: Getty Photographs
Congratulations to Sir Richard Thompson, President of the Royal College of Physicians, on his frank diagnosis of the NHS and for telling it as it is (Report, 5 April). His description of overworked clinicians “operating close to like scalded cats” vividly sums up the sense of stress medical doctors are dealing with in the NHS. And he rightly highlights the reality that the NHS is underneath-doctored, below-nursed, underneath-bedded and beneath-funded.
Like physicians, psychiatrists are under pressure to provide top quality care with a minimum of sources. They witness the distress of sufferers and carers who are sent long distances to receive care because they are unable to accessibility local solutions. Youngsters as youthful as twelve are getting left on adult psychiatric wards – which is completely unacceptable. And the decline in previous age psychiatry as a consequence of “ageless providers” signifies older folks with mental health concerns are not obtaining the specialist care they need.
The actual threat in all this is finance getting to be a larger driver than care and compassion, which brings us back to what none of us want – a recurrence of what occurred at Mid Staffordshire.
Professor Sue Bailey
President, Royal College of Psychiatrists