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King’s Fund calls for action on mental health staffing problems

What are the prospects for effective action on mental health workforce problems?


The mental healthcare workforce must be a priority in developing the health service’s long-term plans, policy analysts working with the highly respected King’s Fund have warned.


Responding to an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Mental Health inquiry of the Five year forward view for mental health the King’s Fund called for staff shortages to be made a priority, and warned that there were not enough trained staff to deliver evidence-based treatments.


The think tank also called for greater transparency on workforce numbers and more information about how the requirements of the Forward view policy are being met, including audits of current and future workforce requirements.


NHS England mental health taskforce chair Paul Farmer told Health Service Journal (HSJ) reporters that the Prime Minister’s £21.5bn funding boost was a chance to reset the mental health agenda.


He said the taskforce created the Forward view policy with the aim of preventing a ‘catastrophic collapse’ of services, but the settlement would permit greater aspirations.


These included prevention programmes, improving children and young people’s mental health, a greater focus on recovery and tackling inequalities.


Further information

HSJ: Taskforce chair says new funding must target mental health

King’s Fund: APPG on Mental Health inquiry: into the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health

Royal College of Psychiatrists: APPG on Mental Health