Contractual and operational aspects
The recruitment of education mental health practitioners (EMHPs) to roles does not appear to be a particular challenge, however, retention of EMHPs following qualification appears to be more successful in some areas (eg. Hammermsith & Fulham) than others. Greenwich is undertaking a review of the band 6 job title and job description as feedback identified the title of the role and job description were ambiguous causing recruitment problems.
The attrition of practitioners has been reported by several areas as a problem, leading to questions about the sustainability of the services going forward. EMHPs may use the training as a stepping stone either within their current careers or to pursue additional training. EMHPs leaving once qualified was reported in Bromley and Haringey, for example.
City & Hackney mentioned that there is no mechanism for training new EMHPs when they move on. Some areas mentioned that EMHPs are relatively poorly paid, which adds to the problem. The temporary contracts in use in some areas may also mean practitioners are more likely to leave, as highlighted by Tower Hamlets.
Some areas have recruited more senior staff as part of the programme, to increase the sense of stability in the team, retention of staff and further enhance the skill set and MHST offer to schools (e.g. in Camden two Band 7 CAMHS workers were recruited).
Some problems with recruitment of clinical supervisors were reported, for example in Ealing.
Uncertainty in relation to funding was reported as a challenge in several areas. Funding uncertainty, and waiting for funding to be confirmed, adds to the risk of staff being lost, as re-training for the same post may not be built into the budget.
Whether there is parity between waves in relation to this was questioned (SWL). This issue was felt to have constrained the programme in some areas (e.g. Camden).