skip to main content

Psychology Services Workforce in NHSScotland: Quarter Ending 31 December 2021

Quarter ending 31 December 2021
Official Statistics
Published: 01 March 2022

About this release

This release by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) provides a quarterly update, as at 31 December 2021, on the Psychology Services workforce staff in post and vacant posts. 

Figures are presented as headcount (actual number of staff) and whole time equivalent (WTE), which adjusts the figures to take account of part-time working.

Main Points

As at 31 December 2021:

  • Within Psychology Services in NHSScotland, there were a total of 1359.3 WTE (1637 headcount) clinical staff in post. This is 114.8% (726.4 WTE) higher than in September 2006, 6.0% (77.2 WTE) higher than reported 12 months previously and 1.9% (25.9 WTE) higher than the September 2021 census.
  • The WTE of Clinical Psychologists has increased from 817.9 in September 2021 to 835.0 (+ 2.1%, 17.1 WTE) and the WTE of Counselling Psychologists has increased from 69.3 in September 2021 to 75.1 (+8.4%, 5.8 WTE). These increases are likely due to graduates from the doctoral training programme joining the workforce.
  • The majority of staff in NHSScotland Psychology Services work in Mental Health (827.7 WTE, 60.9% of total). However, the largest percentage increase this quarter was seen in the Physical Health area of work (144.2 WTE, 10.6% of total, which is a 9.8 WTE, 7.3% increase since the previous quarter).
  • There were a total of 191.0 WTE vacancies as at 31 December 2021, which is 33.0% (47.4 WTE) higher than in December 2020 but a slight decrease from September 2021 (-2.9%, 5.7 WTE). Of these vacancies, 68.1% (130.0 WTE) had been advertised for less than three months, 22.7% (43.4 WTE) for three to six months and 9.2% (17.6 WTE) for longer than six months. 54.9% (104.8 WTE) were new posts, 42.3% (80.8 WTE) were replacement posts, and 2.8% (5.4 WTE) were maternity leave cover/unknown/other. The vacancy rate was 12.3%, compared to 12.9% in September 2021 and 10.1% in December 2020. A further 100.4 WTE vacancies were approved but not yet advertised.

Psychology Workforce 31 December 2021: Key Points


The next release of this publication will be in June 2022.

Publications prior to 3 December 2019 can be accessed via the ISD Workforce publications page.