Cole-Hamilton: SNP neglecting mental health care

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today accused the Scottish Government of neglecting mental health care after figures revealed that NHS spending on mental health services as a percentage of total spend has fallen year on year for the past six years.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats through SPICe show that in 2009/10 NHS spend on mental health services was at 12.8% of total NHS expenditure while in 2015/16 this fell to 11.3%.

Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“We are seeing people having to travel hundreds of miles and waiting months upon months for the treatment they need. These pressures are laid bare in these figures and they highlight the failure of the SNP to give mental health the priority it deserves.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats want to see a step change in investment in mental health and this was a focus of ours during the budget negotiations. During those negotiations we saw that the SNP are further behind on mental health than we feared.

“Due to an SNP Government unable to get to grips with the challenges that face our NHS in Scotland, we now have a health service that is under severe strain.

“NHS staff work incredibly hard to deliver the care that people need however until they are given appropriate resources then they will only be able to do so much. The SNP must recognise this and give mental health care the priority it deserves." 

SPICe have provided comparable figures for the subsequent years:

Financial Year

Percentage of NHS expenditure related to mental health





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