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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

OP46. Annual Census of Psychiatric Staffing 1998


Price: £7.50

Published: Sep 1998

Status: current

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This seventh annual census undertaken by the Royal College of Psychiatrists indicated psychiatric staffing in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as at 30 September 1998.
 
Modifications to the methodology this year have allowed a more detailed analysis of areas such as consultant retirements and recruitment. Information about SHO posts and their use by either psychiatric trainees or those aiming for careers in general practice is now clearer also.
 
There continues to be a significant vacancy rate for consultants and this has increased this year. There is considerable variation both between different parts of the UK and between specialities. England consistently has the highest vacany figures for all specialities apart from forensic psychiatry, where the highest numbers are for Wales (20%). By speciality, rehabilitation (25%), old age (18%), learning disability (17%) and substance misuse (16%) are the most problematic areas and only some of this is accounted for by increased establishment of new posts.
 
Increased movement of established consultants to new posts seems of increasing significance.
 
The other factor of relevance is regional variation, with Northern England doing much worse with around 20% vacant posts compared with other areas. A steady increase in non-consultant, non-training grade posts over the past 3 years may be one of the ways trusts are finding to meet the skills shortfall at consultant level.
 
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