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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13522: Tom Mason (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 18 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what assistance it is giving NHS Grampian to recruit additional clinical staff, particularly those specialising in children's mental healthcare, in light of it reportedly being the worst performing board in terms of the 18-week waiting time standard, meeting it in only 33.1% of cases.

Answered by: Maureen Watt 21 December 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 Grampian, 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 staff, with NHS Grampian receiving an allocation totalling £427,219 in the first year.

In addition funding will reach £35 million by 2022 for 800 additional mental health workers in key settings such as GP surgeries, ensuring local provision and support is at the heart of our plans.