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We urge the Government to use existing therapist workforce to plug treatment gap

Publication date: August 1, 2017

We welcome the newly announced details of the mental health workforce strategy but warn that the number of therapists falls well short of what is urgently needed to offset growing demand.

Worryingly, the actions outlined will be funded by £188 million worth of cuts to other mental health services followed by even more cuts in the long term.

Our Chair, Martin Pollecoff, said: “The Government’s announcement today falls far short of what is needed to offset the growing demand for NHS mental health services and will not hold up long-term. Government figures show that by 2020/21, only one in four people who need therapy will be offered it. That’s unsustainable.

“To meet even existing demand, the Government should take advantage of the vast existing workforce of therapists. UKCP alone has more than 8,000 highly qualified trained psychotherapists from different backgrounds, and many of them have medical experience.

“We encourage the Government to draw from already established bodies such as ourselves to create a sustainable service.”