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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09861: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 21 June 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take to fill mental health vacancies at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Answered by: Maureen Watt 10 July 2017

The Scottish Government is fully committed to a sustainable NHS and its workforce, which continues to deliver a consistently high quality healthcare service to the people of Scotland.

While the Scottish Government provides the policies, frameworks and resources for high quality healthcare, it is for each NHS Board to decide best how to utilise funding, facilities and staff while taking account of national and local priorities to meet local health needs. We expect NHS Boards to plan their facilities and workforce to deliver these services, ensuring the provision of safe, effective and high quality patient care, delivered by the right professional at the right time.

The Scottish Government have put in place a £54 million comprehensive package of support to improve access to mental health services for adults and children, which will provide funding for additional staff, for workforce development and for in-depth improvement support to local services. In this first year £4.3 million has been awarded to Boards across Scotland to build capacity within mental health services. Further funding has been awarded through NHS Education Scotland to provide each Board an individual, tailored offer of funding and workforce development.

One of the keys to ensuring that the principle of “ask once, get help fast” is met is ensuring the right workforce is in place. Action 15 in the recently published Mental Health Strategy 2017-27 commits the Scottish Government to increase the workforce to give access to dedicated mental health professionals to all A&Es, all GP practices, every police station custody suite, and to our prisons. Over the next five years increasing additional investment to £35 million for 800 additional mental health workers in those key settings.