Thursday 3 January 2019 / 8:09 AM Barbara Keeley / Mental Health

NHS England Failing to Meet Mental Health Workforce Target – Barbara Keeley

New analysis obtained by Labour from NHS Digital on the eve of the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan shows that NHS England is not on course to achieve a pledged increase in mental health workforce of 21,000 by 2021.

Approaching the halfway point of Stepping Forward to 2020/21, if the increase in the number of mental health staff continues only at the current rate of growth it will miss its target by over 15,000.

Labour analysis of NHS Digital data also found that:

  • The total number of mental health nurses has fallen in every month this year
  • The number of psychiatrists has increased only 3 per cent over 12 months

Barbara Keeley MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, said:

“This Government’s failure to act on the mental health workforce crisis could threaten to turn the burning injustice of mental ill health that the Prime Minister pledged to tackle into a raging inferno.

“Mental Health’s share of the wider NHS budget will not increase over the next three years so services will continue to suffer as clinical staff leave in greater numbers, unless the NHS Long Term Plan addresses the current workforce shortfall.

“At the last election Labour pledged to increase investment in mental health and to ring-fence budgets so that crucial funding for mental health reaches the front line and isn’t siphoned off to plug gaps elsewhere in the NHS.”