Mental Health Officers(MHO) survey, Scotland 2011-12

This survey collects information about the number of qualified MHOs who are practising within Scotland.

6. Background information on the collection of the data

6.1 Data Sources

Mental Health Officers (MHO) survey

The survey data used in this report has been collected since annually since 2005, at Local Authority level. The survey has been developed each year with new questions being added when a need for further information has been identified. The survey collects information about the number of qualified MHOs who are practising within Scotland. The lastest survey form is available from:

National Records for Scotland (NRS) population estimates

The NRS is the devolved Government department in Scotland responsible for the registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships, deaths, divorces and adoptions in Scotland. The population estimates are produced using the demographic cohort component method. The estimates are based on the 2001 Census. Full details available from:

6.2 Understanding the Statistics in this Report.

All information in this Statistics Release is either a snapshot of the workforce on the 31st March or based on a year from 1st April to 31st March.

All staffing grades have been included as long as they are a practising MHO. These grades include basic grade staff, senior practitioner posts and team leaders or managers.

Whole Time Equivalent (WTE), is the number of whole-time staff, those working a full standard working week and the total number of hours worked by part-time staff, divided by the number of hours considered to be a standard whole-time working week. It should be noted that a standard working week can range between 35 and 39 hours per week. This can have the effect of WTE figures being slightly higher in Local Authorities who have a shorter whole-time standard working week.

An exclusive MHOs position refers to MHOs whose contract specifies that they are appointed to primarily undertake statutory Mental Health Officer work.

A trainee MHO is defined as a Social Worker undertaking MHO training on the 31st March.

A MHOs age, gender and ethnicity can only be provided with their consent. This means that the figures for each year are not comparable and the figures may not sum to the total number of MHOs due to missing information.

Some column totals in the tables in this document may not exactly equal the sum of their component parts due to the effects of rounding. The percentages shown in the tables have been rounded to one decimal place, this means that they will not always total to 100%.

The change in staffing numbers recorded between 2011 and 2012 in Dumfries and Galloway is due in part to a group of 8 staff who provide supervision no longer recorded as active practitioners. This group consists of 3 senior social workers and 5 managers of MHO practitioners.

6.3 Changes to previously published figures

The 2011 figures presented for Orkney Islands in last years publication have been revised. In the 2011 publication staffing data (MHO Numbers, WTE, rota duty, Age/Gender and ethnicity) had been rolled forward due to the non-return of data. Following the receipt of their 2010/11 data the figures have been revised to reflect the correct position in 2011.

6.4 Cost of respondent burden

To calculate the cost of respondent burden to this survey each Local Authority was asked to provide an estimate of the time taken in hours to extract the requested information and complete the survey form. The median time has then been used within the calculation below to calculate that the total cost of responding to this survey is £1,630.


6.5 Previous publications

The 2007/08 survey results were published in issue 19 of the Mental Health Officers in Scotland newsletter, which can be found at:

Official Statistics Publications

2008/09 -

2009/10 -

2010/11 -

6.6 Future publications

Please note that that this is the last MHO publication to be produced by the Scottish Government. Future Mental Health Officer publications will be collated and published by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). Their first publication will be in 2013 and based on figures collected in December 2012.

Link to website -

6.7 Further information

Further details and analysis of the data presented in this Statistics Release are available on request from the address given below. The Statistics Release is available on the Internet by accessing the Scottish Governments web site: -

Information at local authority level is shown in the annex to this Statistics Release.

Community Care Statistics
Basement Rear
St Andrews House

Contact: Steven Gillespie
Tel: 0131 244 3777

This statistics release was published on 26th June 2012.


Email: Jonathan Glassford

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