Murdo has said he finds the number of mental health staff vacancies in Mid Scotland and Fife “deeply concerning,” stating that the SNP need to “step up” and ensure frontline mental health services have the resources they need.
The politician was commenting following details being provided by NHS Fife and NHS Tayside to the Scottish Conservatives through Freedom of Information, which reveal that there are 139 mental health staff vacancies in total in the region. These consist of 121 in Fife and 18.85 Whole-time Equivalent (WTE) vacancies in Perth and Kinross.
In Fife, the largest group of vacancies were in the General Adult department of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Mental Health Service.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser MSP said: “I find these figures for mental health staff vacancies deeply concerning. Mental health issues were previously well known across Scotland, particularly among children and young people, and the Covid pandemic only exacerbated these problems.
“These staff vacancies in Mid Scotland and Fife point to a wider staffing crisis in NHS Fife and NHS Tayside which Health Minister Humza Yousaf and the SNP Government have failed to get on top of. It is little wonder that waiting times are getting longer to start mental health treatment when there is such a high level of vacancies. This horrendous situation only puts children and young people at more risk.”
Murdo continued: “I have been told by some mental health staff that morale is at an all-time low just now. This combined with the worrying number of staff vacancies emphasise the need for the SNP Government to step up and ensure frontline mental health services and organisations have the resources they need to hire staff to support our young people.”
*The figures for NHS Fife were given for the last reporting quarter at the end of October 2022.