Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume MSP today warned that a lack of investment in mental health services is a national scandal as figures revealed support for key services in Scotland is lagging behind England and Wales.
Mr Hume was commenting as a comparison of spending figures for NHS services in England, Wales and Scotland revealed that NHS Scotland spent 8.6% of its budget on mental health services in 2011/12. This compares to 11.9% in both England and Wales.
Last month, Mr Hume repeated his call for the Scottish Government to ensure that mental ill health is treated with the same urgency as physical ill health after hosting a Holyrood summit that brought together medical professionals, patients and mental health charities.
Commenting, Jim Hume MSP said:
“This confirms that the support given to mental health services in Scotland is wholly inadequate in comparison to that given in England and Wales. We already know that 0.45 percent of total NHS spending was spent on Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services in 2013-14 compared to 0.7 percent in England.
“These figures show that there is an overall gap in support which can only lock in a gap in treatment. At my summit last week medical experts and campaigners revealed deep-seated, systemic problems in the way mental health services are supported.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats continue to urge the SNP to start listening and ensure mental ill health is treated with the same urgency as physical ill health. With one in four people estimated to experience mental ill health in their lifetime, it is high time the Scottish Government reacted to this national scandal.”