RCPsych says Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists need to be added to the National Shortage Occupation List
- The number of NHS Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists
has fallen 6.3% since November 2013
- In Kent, Surrey and
Sussex there are just 3.75 Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists per
- The Government’s
recent Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper
outlined plans for a four-week waiting time target – but this will
not be possible without increasing the psychiatry
8 March: The Royal College of Psychiatrists
has urged the Government to add NHS Child and Adolescent
Psychiatrists to the shortage occupation list, as new figures
analysed by the RCPsych show numbers have fallen by 6.3% in the
last four years.
The number of NHS child and adolescent
psychiatrists at all grades declined by 6.3% between November 2013
and November 2017.
For consultants alone the decrease was 6.9%
over the same period.[i]
Across England, the number of NHS Child and Adolescent
Psychiatrists per 100,000 children is:[ii]
- Kent Surrey and Sussex –
- East of England – 4.87
- Yorkshire and Humber –
- South West[iii]
- East Midlands – 5.76
- Wessex – 6.38
- West Midlands – 6.89
- North West – 7.92
- Thames Valley – 9.29
- North West London –
- North East – 14.29
- South London – 17.15
- North Central and East
London – 17.32
Ongoing work with Health Education England has
highlighted an urgent need to address the shortage – especially in
light of the Government’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health
Green Paper which predicted a short-term rise in referrals to NHS
mental health services.
In its consultation response to the Green
Paper, the RCPsych said recruiting from overseas was crucial to
achieve the proposed four-week waiting time against rising
Dr Bernadka Dubicka, Chair of the
Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Child and Adolescent Faculty
said: “Earlier this year an Indian child and adolescent
psychiatrist had their visa application rejected because the quota
for Tier 2 visas had been reached and they did not qualify as a
priority on the shortage specialty list.
“Shortstaffing in Child and Adolescent Mental
Health Services is no secret. We are already struggling – and the
Government’s own Green Paper Impact Assessment predicts a rise in
“We are now calling for the Child and
Adolescent psychiatrists to be added to the shortage occupation
Recruiting from overseas is key to quickly
employing more qualified doctors specialising in children’s mental
health and will ensure the profession is seen as a priority by the
The HEE mental health workforce plan committed
to an extra 100 consultant CAMHS psychiatrists by 2021, but these
new roles will not be in community CAMHS teams.
The Home Office shortage occupation list gives
specific professions priority for Tier 2 visas to employ non EEA
staff because they are struggling to recruit at home. Core
psychiatry trainees and old age psychiatrists are on the shortage
speciality list, but child and adolescent psychiatrists are
Applicants who do not qualify on the shortage
specialty list may be rejected for a visa even if they are
desperately needed by the service that is trying to employ
Notes to editors
- NHS workforce data for each Health
Education England (HEE) region is published on a quarterly basis by
NHS Digital and draws upon the NHS Electronic Staff Record for each
trust and clinical commissioning group (CCG). This analysis was
based on the most recent data for
September 2017, published on 21 December 2017.
- NHS workforce data records how many
psychiatrists are employed by a particular Trust based within each
Health Education England region.
- A Trust may have a contract to provide
services, and therefore employees, in a different location outside
its own Health Education England region. These contracts are
subject to regular tendering.
- Population data is primarily based on the
mid-2016 population estimates for the CCGs in the corresponding
HEE regions in the NHS Digital data, as published by the Office for
- “Children” in this press release are
defined as people aged 0-17 years.
- NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Services are provided in Devon by Virgin Care and therefore for
this analysis, the 0-17 year old population for the two CCGs in
Devon (Northern, Eastern and Western Devon and South Devon and
Torbay) was excluded from the standardised calculations. The 0-17
population for Torbay was then added into the total, to reflect
that CAMHS services are provided by an NHS trust in that area
(Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust). This figure was
reported by the
Office for National Statistics in its Middle Super Output Area
Mid-Year Population Estimates.
- The 0-17 year old population increased by
0.92% between mid-2015 and mid-2016, so this increase was applied
uniformly to each region to take some account of population growth
by the middle of 2017.
- Read the
RCPsych’s response to the Health and Education joint Select
Committee inquiry into the Green Paper and watch the
About the Royal College of Psychiatrists
- We are the professional
medical body responsible for supporting over 18,000 psychiatrists
in the UK and internationally.
- We set standards and promote
excellence in psychiatry and mental healthcare.
- We lead, represent and
support psychiatrists nationally and internationally to governments
and other agencies.
- We aim to improve the outcomes
of people with mental illness, and the mental health of
individuals, their families and communities. We do this by working
with patients, carers and other organisations interested in
delivering high quality mental health services.