Intended for healthcare professionals


Workforce crisis has left mental health staff at “breaking point” as demand rises

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 09 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m88

Linked BMJ Opinion

There is a long way to go to securing the mental health workforce that we need

  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Staff working in mental healthcare are at “breaking point” as they try to handle rising demand with a continuous staffing gap, a survey by the BMA has found.1

Of more than 1000 mental health professionals surveyed, 63% said that they worked in a setting that had rota gaps across the team, and 69% of these said that such gaps occurred either most or all the time.

As a result, over half (52%) of the respondents reported being too busy to provide the care they would like to, while 44% said their workload was unmanageable. Sharing their personal experiences, one respondent said that they had been “thrown to the wolves,” while another said that the stress had negatively affected their own mental health. …

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