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Workforce planning for the mental health support workforce

Workforce planning includes establishing a baseline (such as environmental scanning, collecting data and capabilities) assessing supply, demand, gap analysis and finally action planning and delivery.

There are many job titles and marked, unexplained variation in the experience, knowledge, qualifications, skills and values that NHS organisations seek when employing mental health clinical support staff (Nuffield Trust, 2021, pg. 5). This could point to a lack of systematic and structured workforce planning and job design for the role (King’s College London, 2021, pg. 9).

By understanding how individual vacancies fit into the bigger picture, and where this fits in workforce planning, it will help you to build on the mental health support workforce to meet service requirements. In the following two sections, we’ve included some resources that should help you understand workforce planning more broadly and apply this knowledge to the mental health support workforce. Your HR teams will be able to provide more support. When using this information, you may find it useful to consult the information provided in this toolkit on Networks.