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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-00825: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 16 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what is it doing to reduce any disparities between NHS boards in waiting times for child and adolescent mental health services.

Answered by: Maureen Watt 28 June 2016

To improve services across the whole of Scotland, we’re investing an additional £150 million for mental health over five years.

From this, we announced a £54 million package in January 2016, of which
£4.8 million will be awarded to healthcare improvement Scotland to establish a mental health access improvement support team. The improvement programme will work in collaboration with NHS boards to deliver sustained improvements in access to child and adolescent mental health services and psychological therapies services and should address disparities between boards. This work will be undertaken in two distinct phases: diagnostic work to identify the enablers and barriers to the board being able to deliver on improved access, which will then be used to develop an improvement plan.

NHS boards have also been allocated £24.7 million to increase capacity to deliver services.

We are also providing support for improving mental health services in primary care settings. On 18 February 2016, the Cabinet Secretary for Health And Sport launched the mental health primary care fund, totalling £10 million, which will encourage new ways of working with GPs and others to ensure people with mental health challenges get the best support available, in settings they want, as fast as possible and in the form best suited to them. We received a significant number of proposals, and we are currently working with NHS boards and integrated joint boards to consider which would best deliver the changes we want to see.