GHP Aug 2017

GHP / August 2017 17 Thousands of New Roles to Be Created in Mental Health Workforce Plan g initiatives to improve career pathways • A major ‘Return to Practice’ campaign led by HEE to encourage some of the 4,000 psychiatrists and 30,000 trained mental health nurses not substantively employed by the NHS to return to the profession. NHS Employers will also work with providers to develop more flexible and supportive working environments and help more of them to draw on the skills of recent retirees • A new action plan to attract more clinicians to work in mental health services and psychiatry, including a targeted campaign next year to encourage more trainees to specialise in mental health, as well as encouraging more junior doctors to experience psychiatry as part of their foundation training – either through a new ‘two- week’ taster programme, or through increased availability of rotation placements in psychiatry • The development and expansion of new professional roles in mental health to help create more flexible teams and boost capacity, enabling clinical staff to spend more face- to-face time with patients, by providing more support staff to take on the non- clinical tasks – for example updating patient records • Co-ordinated action to tackle the high attrition rates among psychiatry trainees, with the Royal College of Psychiatrists working with higher education institutions to improve on-the-job training and support, encourage greater flexibility and develop a new Accelerated Return to Training programme for those who have abandoned training previously • The plan also pledges action to improve the mental health and resilience of its own workforce; HEE will deliver a programme to improve awareness of mental health amongst NHS staff, including encouraging more GPs to undertake further formal training in psychiatry; HEE will also explore how to support Trusts in recruiting and training staff from abroad to meet short-term recruitment needs. Professor Ian Cumming, chief executive of Health Education England said: “Mental health is a key priority for HEE. The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health laid out an ambition to see an additional one million people being treated by mental health services by 2021, including 70,000 more children and young people. This is something the whole system is committed to working on to make sure patients get the best possible care. “The workforce plan we have agreed with our partners across the system is based on the most comprehensive and robust study of the mental health workforce to date. We do not underestimate the scale of this challenge. To deliver the improvements we have said are required will require concerted action and focus from everyone working across the health and care system – this document lays out a plan to create that workforce. “I am confident that the NHS can rise to this challenge and that this plan is a significant step to make the improvements to care we all know are needed a reality.”