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£1.3bn investment plan to boost mental healthcare

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Can trusts fill 21,000 new mental health posts?

A new mental health plan promises to treat an extra 1m patients by 2020/21 and comes with £1.3bn investment, and a promise to create 21,000 new mental health posts.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched Stepping forward to 2020/21: mental health workforce plan for England. The plan was formulated by Health Education England and mental health experts including the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Other points in the plan include pledges to provide services day and night throughout the week; and to integrate mental and physical health services.

It is hoped that the plan will give a further 1m patients (including 70,000 children and young people) access to mental health services.

The 21,000 extra posts will include trained nurses, therapists, psychiatrists, peer supporters and other mental health professionals. A ‘return to practice’ campaign and a plan to attract more clinicians to the specialism will support this.

Further information

Department of Health: Thousands of new roles to be created in mental health workforce plan

Health Education England: Mental health workforce plan

NHS England: Next steps on the NHS five year forward view