Association of Mental Health Providers

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Our Data Work – A Year in Review

In Spring 2023, we launched a new campaign – #MHEqualityNow – calling for urgent action to support community mental health services, warning of ‘the perfect storm’ as our research revealed alarming insights into the demand for mental health services. As part of the campaign, we developed two interactive mapping tools, with support from Esri.

One year on, we briefly reflect on our progress to support the continued development of our campaign.

Key Campaign Dates

On 9 March 2023, we published the first complete picture of mental health service provision across England, Mapping the Mental Health Sector, which highlighted the disparities in access to mental health services in different areas to help identify gaps, which could build cases for future government funding.

On 24 May 2023, our Mental Health Social Care Workforce and Census Data mapping tool was released to establish a clearer overview of the national and regional picture of the mental health social care workforce. Combining data from The Association’s members, Skills for Care workforce data, and Census 2022 data; including demographic data relating to gender, ethnicity, religion, age, health status, and hours of unpaid care provision, the tool aims to improve understanding of how local, regional, and national labour markets interact and what these interactions mean for workforce planning locally and regionally.

Our Progress

We have been successful in the first phase of our work to develop and deliver both the mental health VCSE service mapping and workforce mapping projects. These data resources enabled us to quantify that 8 million people across the country are known to be receiving support from mental health social care and NHS services in the community and we estimate staff shortages are holding back mental health care and support to more than 1 million people across the country.

The data has shaped and informed the work of the Department of Health and Social Care Policy and Operational teams, NHS England’s Inequalities teams, and the work of the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance, utilising the reach, knowledge, and expertise of the VCSE sector. More recently we have presented to various colleagues in Government, Local Authorities, ICSs as well as key stakeholders in the health and social care sector, and begun developing joint-working for the new financial year to refine our focus.

Our Priorities for Year 2

  • To maintain integrity, we will now repeat data collection for the workforce tool and continue to update and add new information on the services map.
  • Mental Health Social Care workforce data updates are linked to the Skills for Care data.
  • For the NHSE mental health workforce data – we will have two years of information once the 2023/4 data is ratified.