An additional £500,000 will be made available to NHS Ayrshire & Arran and other health boards this financial year to provide dedicated mental health support for health and social care staff during the (Coronavirus) COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Boards will be able to immediately recruit psychologists and other staff dedicated to supporting the mental health of the health and social care workforce. This funding will be followed by a further £1 million in each of the next two financial years.
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey MSP said:
“We are providing Boards with additional funding via NHS Education for Scotland to deliver a workforce development programme to increase capacity and capability to provide psychological therapies and interventions for health and social care staff if and when they need it.
“Our NHS and social care staff have worked through unprecedented times and often in unfamiliar settings. Many have been asked to learn new skills and work in new roles in unfamiliar teams.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Apart from working on the frontline, those working in health and social care are living through the same pandemic as anyone else and as such, they are dealing with a double whammy.
“I welcomed the support previously made available by the Scottish Government and am pleased that this is support is ongoing. Coronavirus is still with us and for those on the frontline, dealing with this horrible condition won’t be any less gruelling as it was last year.
“We are deeply grateful for the hard work, commitment and professionalism of those working in health and social care, and need to continue to support them.”
Staff are encouraged to make use of available support that is available through the Scottish Government’s National Wellbeing Hub or by calling the 24 Hour Wellbeing Helpline on 0800 111 4191. Since it was launched, over 64,000 people have used the hub.
Ms Haughey has written to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee outlining the range of measures that are being taken to support the health and social care workforce.
The workforce development programme includes national and local delivery of training and supervision in psychological therapy and interventions.
Up to 16 full-time equivalent (FTE) posts will be created to support the workforce over the next two financial years. This programme includes national and local delivery of training and supervision in psychological therapy and interventions. The 16 posts include Clinical Psychologists, Counsellors, Project Coordinators, and Assistant Psychologists. Five FTE posts are already in place, with some sessional cover in place whilst further recruitment is ongoing.
This funding to boards is one component of a wider programme of work through the Health and Social Care Mental Health Network to support the wellbeing and mental health of the workforce, in line with the commitments made through the Programme for Government.