Response to 'The Future of the Mental Health Workforce' report

Statement / comment
19 September 2017

Responding to 'The Future of the Mental Health Workforce' report, Dr Kate Lovett, Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said:

"Today’s report highlights how vital it is that a fit-for-the-future mental health workforce is developed as a matter of priority. The success of mental health reforms hinge on having fully recruited and trained multidisciplinary mental health teams. However a historic lack of understanding and recognition has made attracting people to work in mental health challenging.

"We welcome calls to promote careers working in mental health and psychiatry to young people and medical students. The mental health sector provides many rich and rewarding career options which allow people to make a positive difference to the lives of people with mental illness. We are keen to encourage medical students who are interested in a varied, stimulating career where they have time to get to truly know their patients as people to Choose Psychiatry.

"We welcome the report’s recommendation to prioritise and protect mentoring and supervision in mental health services. This is vital. Compassionate organisational cultures and effective care depends on the wellbeing of staff working in challenging environments. Access to skilled psychological supervision for all staff is essential.

"Consultant Psychiatrists have the longest training of all the mental health professions and provide essential clinical leadership to mental health teams. However, as the report acknowledges given the length of training it is critical that the Government starts working on its longer-term mental health workforce strategy to ensure sufficient numbers of psychiatrists, in all specialities and in the right areas of the country. Historically access to consultant care has been a postcode lottery."

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