Mental Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th March 2018.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in (a) staff shortages and (b) recruitment difficulties in NHS mental health services.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In July 2017 Health Education England (HEE) published ‘Stepping forward to 2020/21: The mental health workforce plan for England’. This included detailed analysis of workforce numbers and vacancy rates by key staff groups and plans to increase the size of the workforce by 21,000 additional posts by 2020/21. The plan includes a series of steps, currently underway, to improve recruitment and retention of mental health staff, as well as examining models of care and the roles played by different professionals in order to maximise the impact on service users. The Plan is available at:

HEE Regional Leads are also working with sustainability and transformation plan leads to translate the mental health Workforce Plan into locally agreed plans to increase the numbers of mental health staff.

HEE is currently consulting on its draft Workforce Strategy for England which considers the outputs of major workforce plans for the priorities laid out in the NHS Five Year Forward View – cancer, mental health, maternity, primary and community care and urgent and emergency care. The consultation will close on 23 March 2018 and the Government will consider carefully the conclusions of the consultation once this is finalised.

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