Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today warned that Scotland’s national mental health will not recover from the pandemic unless the Scottish Government get serious about staffing, as research by the party revealed that 1 in 8 senior mental health roles are currently vacant.
Freedom of information requests submitted by Scottish Liberal Democrats to all 14 Scottish health boards reveals:
- 82 consultant psychiatrist roles out of 632 are currently vacant.
- Both NHS Western Isles and NHS Orkney do not have permanent consultant psychiatrists in place
- NHS Lothian and NHS Lanarkshire have the highest number of vacancies with 14.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have championed the cause of our national mental health for several years but the reality is that there is serious work still to be done.
“Even before the pandemic there were thousands of children waiting more than a year for treatment and no one seriously imagines that the situation has got better.
“These figures show gaping holes in mental health staffing. Not only is this bad for patients but it piles pressure on other services like accident and emergency.
“The Scottish Government must get serious about staffing. They must invest in a proper national health service recovery plan that includes proposals that ensure our national mental health is a priority and puts the staff and resources in place to make that happen.”