Scotland's top psychiatrists "wish list" for NHS reform

Press release, Scotland news
04 June 2024

Scotland’s top psychiatrists have put forward a “wish list” for mental health services reform.

Appealing to all political parties, the list aims to address workforce issues and funding as well as options for building a stronger NHS in the future. 

The top “asks” include making sure psychiatrists are at the heart of decision-making within the NHS as well as ring-fencing the already promised funding of 10% for mental health and 1% for CAMHS.

The clinicians also want to taper out the use of under-qualified locums and address the issue of working patterns to allow for better patient care and make it easier for psychiatrists to take up more research and teaching roles.

Other key wishes include the setting up and funding of a service to help those with neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD - to take pressure of services helping those with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia.

And the establishment of a psychiatric workforce group led by the cabinet secretary for mental health.

The policy document was published as ministers were due to debate NHS reform in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 4 June.

Dr Jane Morris, chair of RCPsych in Scotland, said:

“We’re offering feasible, well researched and widely backed solutions in the hope that all political parties will sit up and listen.

“For years now we’ve seen the demoralisation and burnout of staff and the exodus of some of our top psychiatrists. Our plans will hopefully reverse this workforce crisis and preserve the future of a good mental health service, one that our patients are crying out for.  

“If implemented correctly, these are policies that can be introduced with relative ease and minimal cost to the public purse.

“We’re pushing out our asks today in the hope they will improve psychiatric services for the better – both for the mental health needs of all Scots and our colleagues working on the frontline.”

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