There are approximately 4,200 social workers (3,100 work in mental health and learning disability trusts), employed by the NHS, together with a larger number of local authority-employed staff working in partnership and based within the NHS.
In mental health, social workers often undertake intensive post-qualifying training to hold roles linked to the Mental Health Act 1983, such as Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP), Best Interest Assessor and Non-Medical Approved/Responsible Clinician (AC/RC).
Social workers comprise 95 per cent of the 3,900 Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHPs), but less than five of the non-medical approved clinicians come from a social work background.
The New Roles Task and Finish Group recommended the inclusion of social workers as a core part of HEE’s mental health workforce plan as a key lever to achieving Long Term Plan ambitions and to alleviate workforce pressure. We are also exploring the possibility of expanding this workforce using Higher Education Institute pathways and fast-track models in specialist roles.