Fewer doctors and nurses working in mental health

Published: 11th Jan 2017

In brief

Claim

There are 6,000 fewer nurses and 400 fewer doctors working in mental health under this government.

Conclusion

There were 6,000 fewer nurses in 2015 compared to 2010 in England. There were 170 fewer fully trained doctors specialising in psychiatry and psychotherapy in 2016 compared to 2010.

“Under this government there’s 6,000 fewer nurses working in mental health, 400 fewer doctors working in mental health”

Jeremy Corbyn, 11 January 2017

Between 2010 and 2015 the number of mental health nurses in England was reduced by over 6,000, or 14%. These are ‘full-time equivalent’ nurses working in psychiatry and with people with learning disabilities.

As of July 2016 there were 39,000, which is 6,600 fewer than in 2010.

The number of places for trainee mental health nurses has increased in recent years. But this won’t necessarily lead to more nurses actually working for the NHS - Health Education England is concerned that “the existence of over 3,000 vacancies indicates this education supply is not translating into increased numbers in employment”.

We’ve asked Mr Corbyn’s office about the source of his claim that there are 400 fewer doctors working in mental health.

There were 167 fewer fully trained doctors specialising in psychiatry and psychotherapy in September 2016 compared to September 2010, and 36 fewer such doctors overall, according to the latest NHS England workforce statistics.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions. Read the roundup.


We aim for our factchecks to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible. If you think we've made an error or missed some relevant information, please email team@fullfact.org.