Welcome news for patients as uptake for psychiatric training posts in Wales at an all-time high

10 July 2019

The number of junior doctors choosing to train in psychiatry in Wales is at an all-time high, according to official statistics.

New figures from Health Education England reveal a 100 per cent uptake this year, with 21 junior doctors accepting 21 places to specialise in mental health.

This is compared to just a 33 per cent fill rate in 2017, when only one in three posts were filled with 18 places on offer and six accepting.

The figures also reveal a significant improvement in the past 12 months. In 2018, there were 22 places on offer with only 13 junior doctors accepting – a 59 per cent fill rate.

The 2019 figures are the highest rate ever in Wales and the joint greatest increase across all regions in Great Britain since this time last year.

With the most recent RCPsych Census showing 1 in 11 consultant posts were vacant across Wales, the increase in those training to become psychiatrists is welcome news for both patients and services.

Professor Keith Lloyd, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, said:

“Being a psychiatrist is a very rewarding career and this is exciting news for patients as well as the specialism.

“Psychiatry is simply a brilliant career choice, dealing with real life. In Wales we are world-leading in many aspects of mental health, so our trainees have the chance to become part of some ground-breaking research.

“Schemes like RCPsych’s UK wide Choose Psychiatry campaign have helped enormously as well as the Welsh government’s Train.Work.Live programme.

“But we must not be complacent. People will always need psychiatrists, it’s a fascinating career and we need to do all we can to continue to promote it as an excellent career choice for all junior doctors.”

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said:

“Our Train Work Live campaign has focused on promoting the benefits of training and working in Wales as a Psychiatrist. Since the launch of the psychiatry phase of the campaign in 2017 we have seen sustained growth in the numbers of people training in Wales. It’s fantastic to see take up increasing from 33% to 100% in just two years.

“Mental Health is an area that we have invested significant resources in and I’m pleased that we are attracting new talent to our nation to provide the support and care people need.”

After medical school, trainees undergo a two-year foundation training programme to bridge the gap between medical school and further specialist training. After Foundation School, junior doctors choose to follow either General or Specialist medicine.

The six-year specialist psychiatry training programme is the final step in the journey to become a consultant psychiatrist – the most senior doctor specialising in mental health.

Notes to editors

For more information about #ChoosePsychiatry or a career in psychiatry, please visit our Choose Psychiatry section.

For further information please contact Laura Varney.