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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11210: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to statistics by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which suggest that the number of consultant psychiatrists in Scotland has risen by less than 1% since 2012, compared with a 20% increase in the number of consultants who treat physical illness.

Answered by: Shona Robison 27 September 2017

Mental Health is a priority for this Government. In 2017-18, for the first time, NHS investment in mental health will exceed £1 billion, and we are working with Boards to deliver sustained improvements.

Under this Government, the number of psychiatric specialists working in NHSScotland have increased by 24.5% to 553.4 Whole Time Equivalent.*

Despite these increases in staff and funding, we recognise that we must adapt to meet the changing needs of the people of Scotland as demand rises in the years ahead.

In June 2017 we published Part 1 of the National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan, which will strengthen and harmonise workforce planning practice, take full account of the future demand for safe and high quality services for Scotland’s people and work to accurately identify gaps in supply, including within the psychiatric workforce.

Parts 2 and 3 of the Plan, to be published later in 2017, will examine how to improve integrated workforce planning in social care and primary care settings. These important steps will enable different health and social care systems to move together towards publication of a second full Health and Social Care Workforce Plan in 2018 and beyond.

*Source: ISD Scotland. Includes Consultant-Grade Directors.