The Health Foundation today (Tuesday 19) responded to The future of the mental health workforce, a new report published by the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network.

Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation, said: ‘Workforce shortages are fast becoming one of the biggest issues facing the NHS, and mental health is no exception.

‘This report demonstrates the difference that specialist mental health staff can make in primary care and the community. However, the number of mental health nurses has dropped by 13% between 2009 and 2016.

‘The ongoing push to reduce spending on agency staff has driven recruitment of nurses in acute hospitals, but without a coherent plan to increase the overall number of nurses there is a risk this may lead to shortages in other areas, including mental health.

‘Without a comprehensive long-term workforce plan for the health service, it will be difficult to fill the shortages in the mental health workforce.’

Media contact

Jack Cutforth

jack.cutforth@health.org.uk

0207 664 4623