Pre-report data of the 2021 census

The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ census is a biennial survey of NHS organisations and private and independent providers who employ psychiatrists in the UK. The census focuses on psychiatrists in non-training grade posts, namely consultants and specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors. 

Data was collected by sending data capture and guidance to each NHS trust, giving specific instructions about how to complete the data set and return it to us. 

The census is not yet complete but key findings from this data show: 

  • The consultant vacancy rate across English NHS trusts has risen only slightly from the previous census. It currently stands at 10.7% compared to 9.8% in 2019 and 10.0% in 2017. 
  • By specialty, the highest vacancy rates are found in addictions (18.6%), eating disorders (16.7%), child & adolescent (15.4%) and Liaison (11.9%).

Consultant vacancy rates by specialty

Data for NHS Trusts in England, 2021.

 Whole-time Part-time Locum FT Locum PT Vacant FT Vacant PT Total establishment Vacancy rates
Academic 38 95 0 0 1 1 135 1.48%
Addictions 21 22 3 2 6 5 59 18.64%
Child & Ad 319 276 80 49 100 32 856 15.42%
ED 25 33 9 8 11 4 90 16.67%
Forensic 234 83 21 16 17 10 381 7.09%
General 1,036 445 269 90 188 47 2,075 11.33%
ID 155 63 19 8 18 8 271 9.59%
Liaison 141 85 20 13 29 6 294 11.90%
Med Psyc 33 32 0 1 2 2 70 5.71%
Neuropsyc 18 17 1 2 1 1 40 5.00%
Old Age 447 178 66 29 44 13 777 7.34%
Perinatal 63 50 5 5 5 8 136 9.56%
Rehab 74 42 4 4 5 4 133 6.77%
        
Total 2,604 1,421 497 227 427 141 5,317 10.68%

Consultant vacancy rates by region

Data for NHS Trusts in England, 2021

 Whole-time Part-time Locum FT Locum PT Vacant FT Vacant PT Total establishment Vacancy rates
Eastern 207 58 43 14 26 3 351 8.26%
London 527 385 87 69 64 57 1,189 10.18%
North West 282 116 97 27 75 15 612 14.71%
Northern & Yorkshire 317 240 30 20 28 3 638 4.86%
South Eastern 433 278 113 45 56 18 943 7.85%
South West 247 133 34 14 54 14 496 13.71%
Trent 270 100 52 17 66 10 515 14.76%
West Midlands 321 111 41 21 58 21 573 13.79%
        
Total 2,604 1,421 497 227 427 141 5,317 10.68%
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