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Access to psychiatrists varies widely across UK, royal college says

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4211 (Published 11 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4211

Re: Access to psychiatrists varies widely across UK, royal college says

The calculation of number of consultant psychiatrists per head of population used in this article is based on NHS Wales workforce census data for 2016 from https://statswales.gov.wales/Catalogue/Health-and-Social-Care/NHS-Staff/.... However, these data are on an “employer” basis rather than on a “commissioner” or “population” basis. During the period in question, Powys Teaching Health Board was not the provider of general and older adult psychiatry services for our population. These services were commissioned from neighbouring health boards and therefore the headcount of consultant psychiatrists serving Powys appears in the workforce figures for the health boards from whom the service was commissioned. For example, in each year from 2011 to 2015 inclusive we employed no general psychiatrists or old age psychiatrists because we were not the provider of this service in Powys.

A process of repatriation has been underway concluding in June 2017 and from this date Powys Teaching Health Board is the direct provider of the service to the whole county. The most recent workforce census submission indicates that there were 10.7 consultant psychiatrists (general and old age) as at 31 July 2017 which equates to 8 consultant psychiatrists per 100000 population.

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 September 2017
Adrian P Osborne
Assistant Director
Powys Teaching Health Board