Coronavirus (COVID-19): mental health - transition and recovery plan

This plan outlines our response to the mental health impacts of COVID-19. It addresses the challenges that the pandemic has had, and will continue to have, on the population’s mental health.

The Renewal of NHS Mental Health Services

The restart, recovery and continued improvement of statutory mental health services will be an important part of this work.

Mental Health services are a priority within NHS remobilisation, and have been central throughout the Government's planning. We have heard the issues that NHS Boards have described to us through their remobilisation plans, and will take targeted action to address those issues. However we fully acknowledge that simply returning to where we started won't be enough. There were significant issues before the lockdown in terms of access to key services, and the impact of the pandemic is likely to see increasing and evolving demand for treatment.

This Plan outlines how we will support NHS Boards and Integrated Joint Boards to move beyond the position at the start of the pandemic. This must lead to the delivery of a set of mental health services which are stronger and better, and which meet the evolving needs and expectations of the people of Scotland. We will also take full account of the parallel evolution of non-health services, which also support many people who use mental health services.

Working with NHS Boards, mental health professionals and service users we will:

  • Implement a programme of national support to Boards based on key themes emerging from the remobilisation plans;
  • Focus on supporting all NHS Boards to respond effectively to the anticipated increase in demand in the months ahead;
  • Set out care standards across mental health services which align with the needs and expectations of the people of Scotland;
  • Continue work to improve the quality and safety of services;
  • Modernise pathways into mental health services from primary and unscheduled care services; and
  • Continue critical work to address unacceptably long waiting times.

Through this work, we will renew Scotland's approach to clinical mental health services. It will be clear to patients what they can expect when accessing specialist mental health services, and the system will ensure that care and treatment is delivered effectively, safely, and in a timely fashion.



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