Mental Health Services: Vacancies

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 10th September 2018.

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Photo of Paula Sherriff Paula Sherriff Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care), Shadow Minister (Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level job vacancies in the mental health workforce.

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

It is not possible based on currently available data to make a robust assessment of trends in levels of job vacancies.

There is currently no single definition of what is meant by a vacancy or how it is counted. For example, some may consider a vacancy to exist as soon as a trust is actively recruiting for an unfilled position, while others may count one whether the role is being actively recruited for or not. NHS Digital is actively working with NHS Improvement to develop a consistent approach to counting and reporting vacancy data. It is not currently possible to identify unfilled vacancies or chronically hard to fill posts.

The most recent published management information data from NHS Improvement covers the fourth quarter of 2017/18 (to the end of March 2018) and by sector, it is split according to registered nursing and midwifery and medical staff.

The data shows that at Q4 2017/18, there were 6,714 (10.5%) full time equivalent (FTE) nursing and midwifery vacancies in the mental health sector, 441 fewer than in Q1 2017/18. There were 1,309 FTE (13.15%) medical vacancies in the mental health sector, 52 more when compared to Q1 2017/18.

Source: NHS Improvement

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