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Mental health funding

Published: 12 Jan 2016 13:47

Significant new investment to improve services for children and adults.

More than £54m will be made available to improve access to mental health services, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

This additional investment will improve access to psychological therapies for all ages including for children and adolescents' mental health services.

The latest funding will aim to offer treatment to an additional 10,000 patients in the first year, an increase of around 25 per cent on current numbers, rising to 20,000 in 2019/20.

Over four years, the money will be provided to NHS Boards to:

  • Improve capacity to see more people more quickly;
  • Work with Healthcare Improvement Scotland to redesign local services to be more efficient, effective and sustainable;
  • Improve workforce supply and train existing staff to deliver services for children and young people, as well as psychological therapies for all ages.

The First Minister said:

"Delivering the very best mental health services is a priority for this government.

"It is vital that the health service is properly equipped to give those who need support and treatment access to mental health services as early as possible.

"We have been investing heavily for a number of years but there is still work to be done, particularly as awareness of mental health issues increases and the stigma in seeking support is reduced.

"Scotland was the first country in the UK to have a mental health waiting times target – a sign of how importantly we view this issue.

"This significant increase in funding will aim to offer treatment for an additional 10,000 patients in the first year, an increase of around 25 per cent on those currently using the services. By 2019/20, I want to see this increase again to 20,000.

"Our additional funding will also support the workforce and ensure services are designed in the most effective way to meet patients needs.

"People who use these services are some of the most vulnerable in society and this extra investment will mean that people will have access to the right services that they need, more quickly. This will make a real difference to people's lives across Scotland."

Billy Watson, SAMH Chief Executive said :

"We are pleased to see mental health increasingly become a political priority and welcome this specific announcement by the Scottish Government from the First Minister today. This is a significant moment for mental health and in particular the emphasis on improved access to services; people with mental health problems deserve high quality support when they need it. We look forward to future announcements where there is further opportunity for the Scottish Government to make major investments in other key areas of mental health, such as early intervention programmes in primary care where there is also a crucial role for the third sector."

Simon Bradstreet, Network Director of the Scottish Recovery Network, added:

"This announcement is to be welcomed because people need to get the right help at the right time. We know that recovery is more likely when there is early intervention and a recovery focused workforce. We look forward to seeing how the funding contributes to the transformational change that is needed in Scottish mental health service provision."

Lee Knifton, Head of Mental Health Foundation, Scotland, said:

"We welcome the announcement of additional investment in CAMHS services. Children and young people face more challenges to their mental health than ever, and demand for services at all levels is high. The evidence is clear that early intervention enables young people to recover quickly, often preventing longer term engagement with services and reduced life chances. Improved access and workforce skills should ensure services are both available, and responsive to what young people want and need."

Notes to editors

Pre-spending review there was an additional £100m available for mental health services. Post spending review that has been increased to £150m.

This £54m investment being announced today will provide £24.7m over 4 years for NHS Boards to improve capacity to see more people more quickly. A further £4.8m over 4 years to provide, through Healthcare Improvement Scotland, in-depth improvement support that will help NHS Boards to redesign their services to be more efficient and effective and sustainable and £24.6m for workforce development to improve workforce supply and train existing staff to deliver children and young people services as well as psychological therapies for all ages. This will include funding to backfill staff who are released for training and for salaries for new staff.