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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-06661: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 27 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase the number of therapists employed in mental health services in (a) Lothian and (b) Scotland.

Answered by: Maureen Watt 9 February 2017

The Scottish Government remain determined to hit the target of 90% of people seen within 18 weeks from referral to treatment for Psychological Therapies. We will continue to work with Boards, including NHS Lothian, to make sure that happens right across Scotland.

As part of the £54.1m package of support announced by the First Minister in January 2016, £24.6 million has been awarded to NHS Education Scotland (NES) to improve workforce supply and train existing staff to deliver services for children and young people, as well as psychological therapies for all ages.

Following a series of commissioning visits, in June 2016 NES wrote to all Boards setting out an individual, tailored offer of funding and workforce development. A significant proportion of the funding from NES is for service posts, intended to support service delivery by providing training, coaching and supervision in evidence-based interventions.

This package of funding also includes £24.7m to be provided to NHS Boards to improve their capacity to see more people more quickly, which could include additional therapists, with NHS Lothian receiving an allocation totalling £3,620,703.