Mental health workforce

Child and adolescent staff up 50% in ten years.

The number of professionals working in child and adolescent mental health has increased by more than 50% in the last decade.

New figures published today by ISD Scotland show that thanks to Scottish Government investment the number of staff working with children and adolescents has increased from 653.7 whole time equivalent posts in 2006 to 981.8 in the third quarter of 2016 – a rise of 50.2%.

The number of psychologists has increased by 59.7%, while the number of nursing staff has risen by 48.5%, occupational therapy staff by 27.2% and medical staff by 10.5%.

The entire psychological services workforce has increased by around 160% since data collection began for this group in 2001.

Waiting time statistics also published today show that waits for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) have decreased since the last quarter. In June to September 78.8% of patients were seen within the 18 week target, up from 77.6% the previous quarter.

An improvement team is currently working with some of the NHS boards to improve performance on CAMHS waiting times. One of these boards, NHS Forth Valley, has reduced its average wait from 24 to 18 weeks in the last quarter.

For all psychological therapies 79.6% of patients were seen within 18 weeks.

This morning, Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt, visited the NSPCC Service Centre in Glasgow to see their work to support the mental health of children and families. The charity does a range of work around child  mental health, perinatal mental health and helping people to cope with adverse childhood experiences.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said:

“These figures shine a light on the way that the mental health workforce has been transformed under this government. We now have 50% more staff and almost 60% more CAMHS psychologists in post.

“While it’s encouraging to see an upturn in performance against the 18 week waiting time standard, I will not be satisfied until we’re meeting this target on a consistent basis.

“An improvement team is working with boards who are experiencing particular pressures, and others who are performing well to understand what is working and what needs to change. There are early signs that this work is bearing fruit but we will continue to work with boards to deliver further improvement.

“We will soon publish our new mental health strategy backed up with £150 million of additional investment. This plan will set out how we intend to change and improve the way mental health services are delivered over the next ten years.

“I was delighted to be able to visit the NSPCC in Glasgow this morning to see the work they are doing to improve child mental health. There are a wide range of charities out there who are dong a power of work to help people who are at risk of suffering mental ill health, supporting them to cope with difficult or traumatic experiences. I was pleased to talk to them about the contribution they make, and to hear their views on our new mental health strategy.”


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