The last three years has seen a 23% growth in the Children and Young People’s Mental Health (CYP MH) workforce, largely in community based services. Data collected, to create a national workforce baseline, shows that the NHS is the largest employer of staff delivering these services.
HEE commissioned NHS Benchmarking Network to carry out a national stocktake of the CYP MH workforce across England. The study indicates an encouraging trend of growth, particularly in NHS employed staff, where numbers have increased by almost a quarter in the two years from 2016 to 2018, since the last benchmarking report was completed. The project recognises the multi-agency nature of delivering mental health services to children and young people, so collected data from the following agencies.
· NHS providers
· Local authorities
· Independent sector providers
· Voluntary sector providers
· Youth justice services
Professor Lisa Bayliss Pratt, Chief Nurse, Health Education England said:
“There has been a growing need and demand for CYP MH services so we must ensure we have the right numbers of appropriately trained workforce, in the right places at the right time. Although we are still seeing a number of vacancies in nursing it is encouraging to see a significant increase in other areas across this important workforce, and seeing more investment from the NHS. There is still more to do but the evidence from this report shows there is better access to services and more highly trained and senior staff in the right place supporting children and young people in their time of need.”
Claire Murdoch, NHS National Mental Health Director said: “This significant increase of our amazing front line staff has been vital in helping the NHS treat record numbers of children and young people for mental health conditions.
“But we will not rest on our laurels and through the Long Term Plan, we have committed to a further expansion in the workforce, ensuring that by 2023/24, at least an additional 345,000 children and young people will be able to access support via mental health services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams.”
The report found:
- A total of 18,136 staff are employed in CYP MH, delivering a total of 14,857 WTE staff
- The NHS are the primary provider of community based CYP MH services and account for 74% of total CYP MH staff reported by the project
- Staff working in the inpatient CYP MH sector are provided by both NHS and independent sector with the NHS being the largest employer in inpatient care.
- Workforce demographics suggest a staff base that is largely female (over 80%), has demonstrable diversity, and contains many disciplines.
- The CYP MH workforce has grown in recent years with the NHS employed workforce increasing by 23% since 2016.
The NHS is treating record numbers of children and young people for mental health conditions. And the NHS Long Term Plan commits to ensuring that by 2023/24, at least an additional 345,000 children and young people will be able to access support via mental health services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams.
Full report can be found here