Mental health suffers at risk due to staff shortages

  • Figures have found that people with mental health issues are not receiving vital support due to a shortage of specialist social workers.mentalhealth.jpg

    A report from the Scottish Social Services Council has found that there are now only 657 mental health officers practising in Scotland and an additional 30 full-time workers are needed to fill the shortfalls, reports Herald Scotland.

    Colin McKay, chief executive of the Mental Welfare Commission, said: "We are disappointed but not surprised at these figures. The Commission has raised its concerns over declining numbers of mental health officers for some time, against a background of a significant rise in caseload. These specialist social workers play a key role in protecting the rights of people with mental ill health or learning disability. We urge the Scottish Government and local authorities to work together to ensure the MHO service is sufficiently resourced to fulfil the responsibilities placed on it in mental health and incapacity law."

    Billy Watson, chief executive of SAMH, Scotland’s leading mental health charity, added: “Mental health officers play a vital role in safeguarding the human rights of people detained under the Act, so it is crucial that this workforce is well-supported. The MHO workforce has been of serious concern for many years, but the current figures are extremely worrying in light of the additional duties placed on MHOs by the Mental Health Act 2015, with a workforce at an all-time low. SAMH calls for increased recruitment, funding and training for MHOs to help them to meet these duties and uphold the rights of extremely vulnerable individuals with mental health problems or adults with incapacity."

    Anna Fowlie, chief executive of SSSC, said: “It is interesting to see from the results of the survey how the profile of the MHO workforce is gradually changing with 56 trainees joining the MHO award courses run by three universities in Scotland and around 30 MHOs retiring last year. "Added to this the increase in the proportion of younger workers along with the decrease in the proportion of older workers, especially in women aged 60 and over, may indicate that the recent trend of an ageing MHO workforce is being reversed to some extent."

    What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions

Related articles

  • Read More

    People in Bedfordshire can find mental health support through an audio guide

    The guides have been written by clinical psychologists and are available to download in print or listen to as an audio file, reports Bedfordshire News.Dr Judy Baxter, Clinical Director with BCCG and...

  • Read More

    Police officers in Dorset to receive mental health training

    The partnership with the University comes as part of the county’s Mental Health Street Triage Project. It is hoped to equip officers with improved knowledge and skills to assess members of the...

  • Read More

    People in Peterborough can refer themselves for mental health services

    Through a drive to offer support to more people and ease pressure on doctors, people living in Peterborough can self-refer themselves to mental health services, reports Peterborough Today.Dr Adrian...

  • Read More

    The first mental health centre for men

    The site has been set up by Alex Eaton, whose dad took his own life and has suffered with mental health problems himself, in Burton upon Trent, reports BBC Newsbeat.Mr Eaton said: "We are the only...

  • Read More

    NHS trust told no mental health beds available

    Dr Bohdan Solomka has said that on Sunday a lack of beds were applied across the NHS and among private providers, reports the BBC. The director of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trusts...

  • Read More

    Over 16,000 mental health referrals for young people have been rejected

    Between July last year and June this year, data from the NHS has found that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services rejected 5,396 referrals, reports STV News.Over the last three years 16,565...

  • Read More

    New mental health centre to open in Ardwick

    Plans to build a new £6m treatment and recovery centre in Manchester have been revealed. It will be built in Ardwick and be run by Alternative Futures Group, reports the Manchester Evening...

  • Read More

    Research finds more chance of re-offending if mental health issues are present

    Research has found that ex-prisoners with mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse are more likely to commit violent offences after release than other former prisoners, reports the...

  • Read More

    Drop in the number of people with mental health issues held in cells

    Recent figures have found that the Crisis Care Concordat has seen over 10,000 people receive care from mental health nurses with the support from police officers, reports the Burton Mail.Figures have...

  • Read More

    Mental health social work scheme accepting applications

    100 places are now available for applicants who have a 2:1 or above undergraduate degree and can demonstrate attributes such as resilience and empathy, reports Community Care.The Think Ahead...

Exempt Accommodation, Welfare Reform and Vulnerable Tenants Another excellent session from Support Solutions - excellent value for money and excellent training D.A - St Vincent's Housing Association


Briefing Signup