To: Adrian McLachlan - Chair Lambeth clinical commissioning collaborative Board

Keep Lambeths NHS Counselling Service safe and effective

Dear Adrian,
Please don't let SLAM (South London and Maudsley Mental Health Trust) sub contract the Awareness Centre and replace qualified staff with trainees and volunteers.

Why is this important?

A several million pound publicly funded contract has been agreed but not yet signed by NHS Lambeth. The money is not being spent on employing qualified and experienced counsellors by The Awareness Centre who has been subcontracted to provide counselling. There has not been any transparent discussion on the role of trainee counsellors in Lambeth and nobody in Lambeth has been properly consulted about the change to services.

The current counselling service that provides experienced and qualified therapists for patients registered with GP's in Lambeth is being replaced by a private organisation that uses trainees and volunteers only. This means that they don't get paid (and even have to pay for their internal training) and that they will be working alongside no qualified staff. This is both unethical for patients and for trainees. I have been working for the NHS since 1984 and the complexity of cases has got harder and harder and I dread to imagine the impact this will have on patients and staff.
Lambeth, United Kingdom

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