RCPsych in Scotland highlights workforce gaps

The Scottish Government recently published the Core Quality Standards for Scottish Mental Health Services.

The document, which was launched on Friday 29 September, follows several years of engagement with workforce and lived experience partners.

RCPsych in Scotland welcomed the focus on improving quality rather than an emphasis on waiting time targets.

However, it warned that there are still workforce gaps, increasing demand and under investment.

Dr Pavan Srireddy, Vice-Chair of RCPsych in Scotland, said:

“We fear that without additional resources these standards risk raising expectations which may not be achievable for services and further undermine morale, recruitment and retention.

“We intend to actively work with the Scottish Government in making the case for continued investment in secondary care mental health services and to take urgent steps to address the workforce crisis.

“A key theme from the workforce consultation that preceded the development of the standards was around the need to better define the function and role of General adult mental health services.

“It is not just important to define what services should be providing but also to describe who would be most likely to benefit from them.

“Defining the thresholds for adult mental health secondary care services and identifying who would benefit most from such services is critical to ensuring equity of access, consistency of care and ultimately improving quality.

“We strongly believe that the standards in their current form are incomplete and require the development of a Service Specification for Adult Mental Health services to provide the level of detail necessary in ensuring this.

“We’ve highlighted our views on this to Scottish Government in the strongest possible terms and will continue to push for this as a priority.”

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