Greater Manchester mental health trust’s outgoing chief executive on seven years of austerity and her fears for the health service’s future

Mental health has a hell of a lot to teach the acute sector,” says Bev Humphrey, the outgoing chief executive of the Greater Manchester mental health NHS foundation trust. “It needs to sit up and listen.”

Humphrey believes that truly integrated mental health teams – involving psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists and dietitians – that provide services around the clock are the way forward across the NHS. “We have crisis intervention teams working 24/7, helping to reduce the pressure on inpatient beds. If you had that for older people, you would have fewer emergency admissions to hospital.”

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".