The Government yesterday released its mental health workforce plan for England, announcing the creation of 21,000 new mental health posts by 2021.
2,900 of these new posts will be additional therapists.
Given the scale of demand for mental health services, the BPC is pleased to see new posts being created.
The BPC is, however, concerned that the government aims to train or retrain these extra therapists from scratch. This will cost a not inconsiderable sum of money and, given the demand for more mental health services, seems self-defeating where organisations such as the BPC have many highly trained and experienced therapists who would be willing to help people on the NHS.
We will be writing to Heath Education England and the Government on this matter.
We also note with concern (in Annex 2 of the plan) that other mental health services will suffer £188 million of cuts, followed by further cuts in the long term.
BPC Chair, Helen Morgan, said: “It is good to see the Government taking steps to meet the rising demand for mental health services in England. However, I am very concerned to see that a further £188 million of cuts are planned for the mental health sector, and that the current intention is to train or retrain a workforce to deliver psychological therapies. The BPC is one of a number of organisations which has highly skilled and experienced practitioners who could deliver therapy to those in need on the NHS straightaway. I would urge the Government to tap into this potential workforce without delay."