Skills for Care

New mapping tool supports better insight into regional and national mental health workforce

14 Jun 2023

3 min read

The Association of Mental Health Providers (The Association) has launched a national picture of the mental health workforce, including data from Skills for Care.

To establish a clearer overview of the national and regional picture of the mental health social care workforce the Association - the national voice of mental health charities providing services in England and Wales - has undertaken the first national mental health workforce analysis, which can be visualised via a freely available interactive map and dashboard.

The Mental Health Social Care Workforce and Census Data dashboard combines data from The Association's members, Skills for Care workforce data and Census 2022 data; this includes demographic data relating to gender, ethnicity, religion, age, health status, and hours of unpaid care provision.

By bringing these datasets together in one place, The Association hopes to improve understanding of how local, regional and national labour markets interact and what these interactions mean for workforce planning locally and regionally, particularly when reviewing specialist positions.

As of 24 May, key findings from the workforce analysis highlight:


  • Overall, the mental health workforce has over 536,000 positions filled, of which over 16,000 are specialist positions.
  • Over the last five years, the overall mental health workforce decreased by over 11,000 and the specialist workforce by almost 7,000.
  • 27% of the overall and 9% of the specialist workforce is on zero-hour contracts, and 88% of the whole workforce have a permanent employment status.
  • Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin integrated care board (ICB) has one specialist mental health workforce role per 20,000 people within the population, while comparatively South East London ICB has one specialist mental health workforce role per 667 people within the population.


This new mental health workforce mapping resource complements The Association’s map of mental health service provision across England, which has been designed to be used by integrated care systems (ICS), local councils, Government, and other decision and policy makers in the mental health and social care sector, as well as Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) mental health service providers, to help with planning, strategies and commissioning from local to national level.


View the mapping tool.


Topic areas

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Skills for Care response to NHS Long Term Workforce Plan