Number of mental health nurses falls 10%

The number of specialist mental health nurses has fallen more than 10% over the past five years, the Guardian has learned, putting the care of rising numbers of patients at risk.

The loss of one in 10 of the entire mental health nursing workforce in England has occurred mainly in hospitals and mental health units treating some of the sickest patients, official NHS figures show.

Figures from the NHS’s health and social care information centre, obtained through a parliamentary question, show that the number of qualified nurses working in psychiatry dropped by 10.8% from 41,320 in 2010 to 36,870 in 2015.

While the number working in community psychiatry services has fallen only slightly from 15,986 to 15,826, those listed as working in “other psychiatry” – mainly hospital units – went down from 25,334 to 21,044.

Full story at The Guardian 25 January 2016