There are “not enough” psychiatrists to help people with mental illness across England, medical leaders warned.
Staff shortages mean there is only one psychiatrist for every 12,567 people in England, the Royal College of Psychiatrists said.
The college said a tenth of advisory posts – 568 out of 5,367 – were vacant when it released its 2021 census.
The highest vacancies are in the areas of addiction, eating disorders and child and adolescent psychiatry.
The college said the NHS personnel records show there are 4,500 full-time psychiatrists for 56.5 million people – or one psychiatrist for every 12,567.
The high number of psychiatric counseling vacancies varies across England – the Northwest and East Midlands have 15 percent vacant positions, compared to the national average of 10.68 percent.
The NHS is facing an unprecedented backlog.
The college said the high vacancy rates in psychiatry mean that some people are forced to wait longer for treatment.
She called for a long-term plan to expand the psychiatric workforce and said the government must invest in an additional 120 core psychiatric training positions in 2022.
And by 2029, 7,000 medical faculty places are to be added to the existing 8,000.
Dr. Adrian James, president of the college, said: “The high number of people struggling due to the pandemic, coupled with the historic lag in mental health, has created a perfect storm.
“We are now seeing a record number of people waiting for life saving treatment, with waiting lists getting longer every day.
“If the government is serious about addressing the long-term mental health challenges, it urgently needs to invest heavily in our workforce so that we can ensure that psychiatric care needs can be met, at least in the future. Without enough psychiatrists, we just can’t win this fight. ”
Dr. Kate Lovett, the college’s chief recruiter, said, “It is unacceptable that we do not have enough psychiatrists to help people with mental illness in what may be our darkest time in recent history.
“Investing in the workforce goes hand in hand with providing quality mental health care.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Welfare said: “Early support and treatment are vital. We’re offering the fastest expansion of mental health services in NHS history, backed with an additional £ 2.3 billion per year through 2023-24 to help hundreds of thousands more children and adults have access to services.
“We are fully committed to attracting, training and recruiting the workforce of the future. We have allocated an additional £ 111 million to support the education and training of NHS mental health staff, increasing the number of medical school places by 1,500 – an increase of 25 percent – over the past few years, as well as five new medical ones Faculties across Europe opened the country. ”
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