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NHS Confederation - Brexit is set to make recruitment more difficult says the Mental Health Network
One in 10 posts in specialist mental health services are vacant and Brexit is set to make recruitment more difficult, according to the Mental Health Network.
The stark warning is issued by the trade organisation which represents 93% of statutory mental health trusts in England in its Brexit and mental health briefing.
It warns the two key areas which are likely to be impacted most are workforce and research.
Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, said:
“Currently the health sector is a service under extreme pressure - at the moment one in 10 posts in specialist mental health services are vacant.
"We must ensure that the NHS continues to have a sustainable pipeline of staff in order to deliver services; if we’re unable to recruit personnel from EU countries in the same numbers as we have been able to then it could lead to intolerable strain. While we welcome the government’s commitment for an extra 21,000 mental health posts by 2020, it is vital that the sector can continue to recruit these much-needed staff from both EU and non-EU countries post-Brexit.
“Regionality is also an issue, for example, currently 19% of psychiatry consultants working in the East of England are nationals from EU & EEA countries – imagine the effect on patients if we’re unable to continue this level of recruitment.”
Secondly, currently significant support for research into mental health is being secured from EU programmes which have also supported collaboration between researchers in the UK and across the EU.
Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, is making nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014–2020). UK organisations have received €3.2 billion since 2014 through Horizon 2020, with €420 million of this coming from the health strand of the programme21 – which includes significant investment in mental health research.
Mr Duggan added:
“Our members need reassurance that this funding gap will be closed. If the research is not continued the impact on patients a few years down the line will be immense.
“The two recent reports from Health Education England: Stepping Forward to 2020/21: Mental Health Workforce Plan for England and Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future – a draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027, set out the strategy for long-term workforce planning in the NHS. Implementing the strategies outlined in these reports is key to making sure that the sector remains able to recruit effectively.”
Notes to editors:
- The NHS Confederation Mental Health Network (MHN) is the voice of mental health and learning disability service providers for the NHS in England. It represents providers from across the statutory, for-profit and voluntary sectors and over 90 per cent of all NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts in England delivering mental health services.
- The NHS Confederation represents 85 per cent of NHS providers and commissioners. The organisation has nearly 500 members across health and social care, including hospitals, community and mental health providers, ambulance trusts and independent sector organisations providing NHS care. It is the only membership body to bring together and speak on behalf of the whole NHS.
- Follow Sean Duggan on Twitter @SeanDugganMHN. Or follow the Mental Health Network @NHSConfed_MHN or the NHS Confederation press office @NHSConfed_Press.
- A full list of Mental Health Network press releases and statements can be accessed at its media centre.
- For media queries, contact Neil Durham (Media and Communications Manager - 020 7799 8671 / firstname.lastname@example.org) or Charlotte George (Senior Media Officer - 020 7799 8664 / email@example.com). For out-of-hours media enquiries, please call the Duty Press Officer on 07880 500 726.
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