Responding to the publication of the Interim NHS People Plan, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said:
"We cannot provide the level of care that people with mental health problems or learning disabilities deserve and require without the right staff, in the right numbers, in the right places. Nor can we deliver on the very welcome ambitions of the Long Term Plan.
"Mental health and learning disability services have the highest levels of vacancies – recruiting and retaining these staff must be an absolute priority, so it is pleasing to see that recognised in the plan.
“Our members are making impressive progress in retaining nurses but there is still a way to go and the plan should help. It is also pleasing to see lived-experience being woven into improving services.
"However, in order for this strategy to be effective, we need to ensure the investment already promised in the Long Term Plan reaches the front line and – as stated in the Interim People Plan - that Continuing Professional Development funding returns to previous levels. We look forward to seeing this reflected in the spending review and the final plan.”