Less than four psychiatrists are available to over 100,000 children in some parts of the country, according to NHS figures highlighted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The RCP, which represents over 34,000 doctors around the world, wants to see more recruitment from oversees supported by the government.

The College say Sussex, Surrey and Kent is the most thinly spread area of England.

Here, there are just child and adolescent psychiatrists for every 100,000 children living in the region.

North, central and East London is best covered, where the ration is 17:100,000.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has urged the Government to add NHS Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists to its 'shortage occupation list', with numbers having fallen by 6.3 percent in the last four years.

  1. Kent Surrey and Sussex – 3.75
  2. East of England – 4.87
  3. Yorkshire and Humber – 5.40
  4. South West – 5.74
  5. East Midlands – 5.76
  6. Wessex – 6.38
  7. West Midlands – 6.89
  8. North West – 7.92
  9. Thames Valley – 9.29
  10. North West London – 13.42
  11. North East – 14.29
  12. South London – 17.15
  13. North Central and East London – 17.32


“Earlier this year an Indian child and adolescent psychiatrist had their visa application rejected because the quota for Tier 2 visas had been reached and they did not qualify as a priority on the shortage specialty list," said Dr Bernadka Dubicka, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Child and Adolescent Faculty.

“Shortstaffing in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is no secret. We are already struggling – and the Government’s own Green Paper Impact Assessment predicts a rise in referrals."

“We are now calling for the Child and Adolescent psychiatrists to be added to the shortage occupation list. Recruiting from overseas is key to quickly employing more qualified doctors specialising in children’s mental health and will ensure the profession is seen as a priority by the Home Office.”

The Government's mental health workforce plan launched last year committed to an extra 100 consultant CAMHS psychiatrists by 2021, but these new roles will not be in community CAMHS teams.