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Psychology Services Workforce in NHSScotland: Quarter Ending 31 December 2019

Quarter ending 31 December 2019
Official Statistics
Published: 03 March 2020

About this release

This release by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) provides a quarterly update, as at 31 December 2019, for the Psychology Services workforce staff in post and staff vacancies.

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

Main Points

As at 31 December 2019:

  • Within Psychology Services in NHSScotland there were a total of 1,214.4 WTE (1,477 headcount) clinical staff in post. This is 91.4% (580.0 WTE) higher than in September 2006, 4.6% (53.7 WTE) higher than reported 12 months previously, and 3.3% (38.3 WTE) higher than the September 2019 census. Out of an establishment of 1,360.0 WTE, 145.6 WTE posts were vacant, 71.9 WTE staff were on maternity/parental leave and 11.4 WTE staff were on long-term sick leave.
  • There has been a consistent increase in the number of staff working part time 113.6% (425 head count,295.9WTE) compared to staff working whole time 7.8% (49 head count, 57.3 WTE) since March 2011. The number of female staff working in part time positions has increased by 127.4%(414 head count) and full time positions increased by 8.7% (42 head count) compared to March 2011 census.
  • There are currently 145.6 WTE vacancies being advertised for recruitment, of which 89.0 WTE (61.1%) are for Clinical Psychology positions. The number of replacement posts (86.2 WTE,59.2%) account for majority of the vacancies advertised. The current vacancy rate of 10.7% is the highest observed in NHSScotland Psychology Services for all December census vacancies since data collection began.

Trend illustrating vacancy rate in NHSScotland Psychology services from 2011 to 2019 census


The Scottish Government 10 year Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027 was published in March 2017. The strategy highlights the need to increase the supply of the workforce and to ensure the skill mix across a wide range of services meets the needs of the population.

Further Information

The next release of this publication will be 2 June 2020.