Occupational Therapist Recruitment Vacancies Rising in London
Vacancy rates for Occupational Therapy roles in London have reached 40%, according to a report by Health Education England and The College of Occupational Therapists.
At the time the report was published, it was noted that more than 252 occupational therapist posts across the capital were unfilled, with more than one third of these vacancies being related to mental health.
Findings from the report showed that the cost of living and difficulty in finding affordable accommodation are having an impact on authorities not being able to fill these posts. The issue is made worse by the fact that the London weighting is not in keeping with the continuous rise in costs of housing and travel in London.
The College of Occupational Therapists have expressed their concerns regarding this issue to the Department of Health and Health Education England, saying that they feel Brexit may have a huge impact on the situation. According to figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the number of nurses and midwives registering to work in the UK has dropped by 90% since the vote to leave the EU.
In previous years to tackle staffing shortages, NHS trusts and social services have been able to recruit professionals from the likes of Australia, South Africa and the US due to being part of the official professional shortages list. However, since being removed from the list in 2015, the shortage has had significant impact on the sector.
The result of this is high demand for both permanent and agency occupational therapists, which is expected to continue increasing in the coming months.