Mental Health Services: Staff

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 31st January 2019.

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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, how many (a) posts and (b) vacancies were there in mental health NHS trusts in England in the most recent month for which data is available.

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

The most recent data reported in Q2 2018/19, as at the end of September 2018, shows that in mental health National Health Service trusts there are 190,185 whole time equivalent (WTE) workforce staff in post, with 19,889 vacancies. This is a vacancy rate of 9.5% out of a total workforce establishment (210,074 WTE).

There are 53 mental health NHS trusts, defined as those with over half of their outpatient activity in mental health specialties. Not all staff in these trusts provide mental health services and some mental health services are provided by other trusts.

NHS Improvement collect vacancy rates from individual NHS providers and publish them as part of their ‘Quarterly performance of the NHS provider sector’ report. NHS Improvement defines a vacancy as the current workforce gap between current substantive staff in post and the required staffing level for the respective period.

NHS Improvement count staff working substantively within a designated mental health NHS trust in England as one definition of the size of the mental health workforce. Currently, there is no single agreed way to count the entire mental health workforce. The Department, working together with NHS Digital, Health Education England, NHS Improvement and NHS England, are in a process of agreeing a new definition to count the mental health workforce in NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups.

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