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DH pledges 21,000 extra mental health professionals in sector overhaul


By Carolyn Wickware
31 July 2017

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The health secretary has announced new workforce targets and fresh funding in a bid to boost mental health services by 2020.

In an announcement from the DH, Jeremy Hunt has said 21,000 new mental health jobs will be created along with a £1.3bn funding injection into the services.

The extra positions include 4,600 crisis care nurses, 2,000 CAMHS staff and 2,900 extra therapists for adult talking treatments.

The health secretary has announced new workforce targets and fresh funding in a bid to boost mental health services by 2020.

In an announcement from the DH, Jeremy Hunt has said 21,000 new mental health jobs will be created along with a £1.3bn funding injection into the services.

The extra positions include 4,600 crisis care nurses, 2,000 CAMHS staff and 2,900 extra therapists for adult talking treatments.

The plan also pledges to encourage GPs to take on psychiatric training and entice 4,000 psychiatrists and 30,000 mental health nurses back into the profession.

This follows an announcement in May ahead of the general election that the Conservative Party would be scrapping the Mental Health Act and introducing 10,000 more mental health workers at a cost of £1.4bn.

The plan aims to treat one million more people by 2021, while providing mental health services around the clock seven days a week.

Mr Hunt said: ‘We want people with mental health conditions to receive better treatment, and part of that means having the right NHS staff.

'We know we need to do much more to attract, retain and support the mental health workforce of the future – today is the first step to address this historic imbalance in workforce planning.'

But Barbara Keeley MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Mental Health, said: ‘Once again this Tory Government is promising only jam tomorrow, when what is needed is action today to tackle the staffing crisis in mental health.

‘The workforce plan provides no real answers on how these new posts will be funded or how recruitment issues will be overcome.

‘And it offers little hope to those working in the sector faced with mounting workloads, low pay and poor morale.’

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