Shortage of mental health staff needs radical approach

New and radical solutions are needed to tackle staff shortages
in mental health services as there is still too much reliance on
the education system to provide new staff, writes Katie

A new briefing paper from the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health
said that many organisations simply make the best use of current
resources and do not explore how things could be done

It suggests that radical solutions need to be tried and
evaluated. One way of expanding the workforce would be via schemes
that support service users into mainstream employment in mental
health services.

Figures show that just four per cent of nurses registered in the
UK are mental health nurses, while around 12 per cent of consultant
psychiatrist posts are vacant. As many as 10,000 new workers are

In London, staff shortages are still at crisis levels, according
to a report from the King’s Fund, which suggests that
something must be done about the excessive workloads, poor housing
opportunities and safety in the hospitals.

Vacancy rates among mental health nurses in London range between
13 and 23 per cent compared with an average of 6.1 per cent in the
general acute sector.

Meanwhile, a survey from trade union Amicus-MSF shows that
clinical psychologists find it hard to get proper on the job
training and supervision, while part time staff have excessive
workloads, at a time when nearly a third of clinical psychologist
jobs are vacant.

To download the briefing paper from the Sainsbury Centre
for Mental Health


For the King’s Fund, ‘London’s Mental Health
Workforce’, report

click here

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