Mental health staff at record levels

Training expansion and improved retention help boost staffing.

Staffing in Scotland’s psychology and children’s and young people’s mental health care services is at a record high.

At 31 December 2017, there were 1,138.5 whole-time equivalent (WTE) staff in psychology services, a 79% increase since September 2006.

In Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) there were 1,013.9 WTE clinical staff, an increase of a third since September 2009. In particular, the number of psychologists working in CAMHS has more than doubled in the past ten years.

The increases come after expansions and modernisation in training, and better staff retention. Ten years after graduating, 71% of clinical psychologists trained in Scotland still work in the Scottish NHS, and the one-year retention rate has risen from 61.5% between 2001 and 2007 to 78.1% since 2008.

Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt said:

“Scotland has seen a significant increase in the number of well-trained professionals entering the mental health care workforce. This is the result of sustained investment, and modernised and expanded training.

“Demand for mental health services is increasing as people become more aware of both mental health problems and of the care available, and as stigma reduces. But there are too many people who are experiencing waits that are too long.

“That’s why we’ll continue to support the improvement of mental health services through the £150 million of extra funding we’re providing over five years to help deliver our Mental Health Strategy.

“This includes £54 million to help boards improve their performance against waiting times targets by investing in workforce development, recruitment and retention, and service improvement support.”

Child and Mental Health Adolescent Services in Scotland.


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