01 April, 2021
As we approach next month’s election, it can be pretty easy to feel tired of politics. Over the past five years, there has been a lot of it.
Since the last Holyrood election, there have been two Westminster equivalents, three prime ministers, three different Scottish Labour and Conservative Leaders (each), Brexit and the continued prospect of #indyref2.
As I discussed in a College webinar for members, alongside representatives from Wales and our former government minister, Dr Richard Simpson, there has also been positive strides taken on mental health. On the back of our own Manifesto, we have played a key role in driving positive change and amplifying the voice of our members.
As a result of the College’s efforts, in the past month alone, we’ve seen a £120 million additional investment in mental health, including £40 million to CAMHS. During a hustings hosted by the College through Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership, each of the 5 parties has expressed support for pursuing a mental health-specific workforce plan. After 10 years of engagement, a Workforce Specialist Service for health and social care staff will now be implemented.
This came on the back of an extensive period of engagement ahead of the election. This includes 50 briefings to parliamentarians, 13 meetings with the political parties (including with the Minister for Mental Health), attending three political party conferences and an average two meetings a week with Scottish Government civil servants on a range of proposals key to our members.
As detailed below, there are many more important bits of legislation and proposed changes to practice that will impact our members that we need your input on. For now, we thank each and every member for positively contributing to our policy advocacy work, and pledge to continue to give you the platform your expertise and desire to deliver the best outcomes for people with mental ill-health deserves.
Aidan Reid, Policy Officer, RCPsych in Scotland
P.S. for those of a campaigning mindset, please consult the relevant guidance around this in relation to your membership of the RCPsych in Scotland.
P.P.S. if you would like regular updates on our policy activities, please sign up to our weekly Policy Update. This will include summaries of the forthcoming manifesto from each political party ahead of May’s election.
To respond, please get in touch with Aidan Reid, Policy Officer.
- Medication-Assisted Treatment Standard 9 (closes 9 April) -- the Scottish Government and its Drug Deaths Taskforce has asked us to input on its new Medication Assisted Treatment standards. This includes standard 9: All people with co-occurring drug use and mental health difficulties can receive mental health care at the point of MAT delivery.
- Draft recommendations to address prescription drug dependence and withdrawal in Scotland (6 June deadline) – our initial stance on this was widely consulted on, but these are new draft recommendations based on collective input and may require a fresh response.
- A Patient Safety Commissioner Role for Scotland (closes 28 May) – this role will focus initially on medicines and inputting the patient’s voice in the usage of these, but could be expanded.