#WeMHNs - Monday 27th March 2023 8pm (GMT Standard Time) MHN Workforce Matters

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Hosted by WeMHNurses using #WeMHNs

Yes, the play on words is intentional.

Later this month senior mental health nurses from around England meet at a symposium to talk about MHN workforce matters. We are delighted to be taking four mental health nursing students to the event to help share the topics discussed with you and help you feed into the topics during the day via #MHNworkforceMatters on Twitter.

Prior to the symposium, we thought we would talk about your views on mental health nurse workforce matters. 

Up to September 2022, there are some  93,800 Mental Health nurses on the NMC register, though this is not a direct indication of the numbers in practice; that's 13% of the total nursing workforce on the 716,000 nurses on the register. There are known to be 38,000 mental health nurses employed in England. 

There were 1,728 mental health nursing vacancies on NHS Jobs when we wrote this, which is a selection from just over 10,000 nurse jobs; though in England there is reported to be some 9,000 MHN vacancies. This means getting the mental health nursing workforce right right now matters.

Over the past few months, or is it years, social media has echoed the growing volume of conversations related to providing or accessing quality mental health services, often focused on funding and resources. 

"Resource" is an interesting term that often somewhat allows conversations to be had about people, individually or as a workforce. There can be a convenient emotional disconnect, a distancing of their value, needs, and impact when referring to a workforce as recourses, particularly when recourses are referred to as "under strain" "depleting" or referred to as "resource light".

We are a few months into industrial action across many sectors, including nursing, where unions have voiced the human impact, shying aware from referring to people as resources, and are vocalising the human aspect/impact on both those providing and receiving care:

  • Staff being paid a fair wage - related to the knowledge, expertise, and skill needed to provide quality services and afford to live.
  • Safe staffing levels - relates to adequate, skilled staffing numbers now to provide care to meet the demand of patients, with a pipeline of trained staff replacing those naturally retiring achieving a long-term sustainable workforce, as well as those leaving early for financial or working conditions. 
  • Quality - this is something that patients deserve for two main reasons, one is because patients have funded the NHS by paying taxes and because the NHS is the only option for most of our patients, and of course as mental health nurses we want to deliver excellent quality care.

The public has endured an increase in exposure to the need to "look after their mental health" and is being told "mental health is important too" with many campaigns in play, by the NHS and many charities, with many designed to remove barriers or stigmas associated with seeking mental health services, these messages very much ramped up through pandemic lockdowns. 

As a community of mental health nurses, we would like to explore your thoughts on the priorities, opportunities, and need to create a stable workforce that is capable of meeting patients' needs and is rewarding and sustainable for mental health nurses now and in the future. 

We'll be exploring the topic via the following questions:

  • What are the current MHN workforce matters that are most important to you?
  • What is your understanding of what is happening nationally or locally to address MHN workforce matters?
  • How do we ensure MHN workforce matters stand out with all nursing workforces facing pressures too?
  • How can we as MHNs have a positive impact on what matters to us and our patients, individually and as a workforce?
  • What concerns have you for future MHN workforce matters, and how could you or MHN leaders address them?
  • What support and advice would you give senior MHN workforce managers/leaders to help them demonstrate that our MHN workforce matters? 

We hope you'll join us and think about your answers before the chat.

Please share the chat details and add it to your calendar via the links above and join us on Monday at 8am via #WeMHNs


You can use this tweetchat for participatory CPD / Revalidation via #MyWe, here's a how-to guide, and the login link to #MyWe 


If you've not joined a tweetchat before here's how:

Using a hashtag (#) like #WeMHNs allows us to use a Twitter feature that shows everyone the tweets that contain it, this allows us to chat with people that we don't follow, yet, enabling the ability for us to chat together on Twitter.

  • To see the chat click (or search) for #WeMHNs on Twitter
  • Look out for questions and others' responses that interest you
  • To join in, add #WeMHNs to your tweets

Regardless of your role, whether you are a mental health nurse or not, if you are passionate about our work then you are very welcome to join in.

Do join in, your views, ideas, and shared experience add real value to others on the chat.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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