NHS England loses 6,000 mental health nurses in 10 years

New figures show that the number of mental health nurses in England has slumped by more than a tenth over the past decade, despite commitments from both Theresa May and her predecessor, David Cameron, to boost resources for mental health services. Many medical professionals say that services are now in crisis.

The total mental health nursing workforce has decreased by 10.6% since 2009, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Although the number of mental health nurses has grown in some areas, such as community care, they have dropped in many other areas. Numbers are down by a quarter (25.9%) in acute care and inpatient care – where the number of mental health nurses has fallen by more than 6,000 over the decade.

The difference between regions has led to there being a postcode lottery, with some regions having little more than half the resources of the best-funded. Research from the charity Mind found that the average annual spend on mental health services per head of population is £124.48 in parts of Surrey, compared with £220.63 in South Yorkshire.

Full story on The Guardian, 19 May 2019.