The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland has urged the Scottish Parliament to invest in future community nursing teams so that they can address the mental health needs of children, young people and their families.
RCN Scotland is giving evidence this week to the Parliament’s Health Committee which is conducting an inquiry into mental health services provided for children and young people.
Fiona Bonnar, a senior charge nurse working in children’s mental health, and RCN Scotland representatives, will highlight the need for more investment and training to be made available in a reinvigorated approach to community nursing.
Fiona Bonnar warned that there is not enough access to training and that community nurses are ‘not adequately equipped’ with resources both financially and practically.
She calls for community nursing to evolve into focusing on adults and the elderly, or children, young people and familes.
‘With 30% of nurses working in the community set to retire in the next 10 years, coupled with an increasing demand for community health services, there needs to be a plan of action to ensure that community nursing has a sustainable future,’ she said.
Community nurses recognise signs and seek help for children showing signs of distress at home or school. They also provide specialist services for children and young people with severe mental health problems.