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More than one million waiting for mental health treatment with one in 10 doctor posts empty

One in 10 posts for consultant psychiatrists in England are vacant with growing waiting times for people needing mental health treatment, experts have warned.

A census of the current situations across England by the Royal College of Psychiatrists has found there is just one psychiatrist for every 12,567 people in England.

Health service bosses at NHS England have acknowledged there are an estimated 1.5 million people who are waiting for mental health support amid fears the situation will worsen as the effects of the Covid pandemic become clear. This is on top of the 5.6 million patients waiting for routine operations and treatments for physical illness.

The Royal College said there was a shortage of 568 empty consultant posts in the NHS out of a total of 5,367 which it said meant patients would have to wait longer for treatment. In total there are 4,500 full time consultants working in the NHS.

The highest rates of unfilled positions are in the fields of addiction, eating disorders and child and adolescent psychiatry.

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Source: The Independent, 6 October 2021


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