Our workforce census

Every two years we run a survey of the non-trainee psychiatric workforce in the UK.

The survey provides a detailed analysis of the consultant and specialty doctor workforce in psychiatry across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Our most recent census

Findings from our 2019 census show that:

  • the rate of unfilled NHS consultant psychiatrist posts in England has doubled in the last six years
  • one in 10 posts are vacant – 568 posts out of a total of 5,730 (9.9%) – up from one in 20 in 2013 (5.2%)
  • rates across the UK vary: in Scotland that figure is 9.7%, in Northern Ireland 7.5% and in Wales 12.7%, while across the UK that rate is 9.6%
  • there are huge regional variations in psychiatric staffing levels, confirming patients also face a postcode lottery of care
  • in eating disorders, the vacancy rate for consultant psychiatric posts is 11% in the East Midlands (Trent), but soars to 17% in the South East and South West and 33% in the East of England
  • the census’s findings for children’s mental health services are equally concerning – the vacancy rate in the North West is 15% and in both the East and West Midlands 17%, compared with an average for England of 12%.

Download the pre-report summary

Workforce census results from previous years:

If you would like to know more, please email workforce@rcpsych.ac.uk or call 020 3701 2525.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry