A new report by the Psychological Professions Network Alliance sets out how the psychological professions can contribute to the current ambition to expand mental health services as part of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health implementation plan: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/fyfv-mh.pdf . This plan describes a trajectory to 2021 for expanding a range of mental health services including those for children and young people, services providing early intervention in psychosis, and talking therapies for adults with common mental health conditions.
Health Education England have produced a national workforce plan to complement this, which maps the need for 21,000 additional mental health posts to be created by 2021 to deliver each of the expansion areas. https://www.hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/documents/Stepping%20forward%20to%20202021%20-%20The%20mental%20health%20workforce%20plan%20for%20england.pdf
The Psychological Professions Network Alliance report, titled “Delivering the Expansion in the Psychological Professions” complements the national workforce plan by:
- Outlining what the psychological professions are and what each of them does (including clinical psychologists, psychological therapists, psychological wellbeing practitioners, child psychotherapists and others)
- Describing the roles that the psychological professions need to play in this expanded workforce.
- Modelling the additional posts required and therefore additional training capacity needed to deliver the expansion ambition.
The report concludes that an additional 6,425 posts for psychological professionals will be required to achieve the expansion. This requires significant investment in training for new practitioners over the period to 2021.
This report is intended to be useful to service and education commissioners, sustainability and transformation partnerships and local workforce action boards to help them plan to meet the challenge of expansion, and to enable them to understand how psychological professions can play their part.
Helen Leigh-Phippard, Service User Consultant with the Psychological Professions Network: Kent, Surrey and Sussex said: “I lost so much of my life waiting for help. When I finally got it, it changed everything. It helped me so much: I stopped being hopeless and became hopeful again. Now better access to psychological therapies means many people don’t have to become so unwell and don’t have to wait so long but it’s vitally important that it continues to be available to as many people as possible, as soon as possible."
The Psychological Professions Network Alliance is a collaboration of regional networks sponsored by Health Education England to give voice to all psychological professions in workforce planning and to promote excellence in practice. Download the full report here