Scottish Liberal Democrats today highlighted that the SNP Government is diluting its commitment to give key public services the new mental health workers they need, in light of new figures showing more than a third of the new staff recruited so far are being attributed to 'other settings' and ministers couldn't explain what they are doing.
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"It's been almost three years since the SNP Government accepted the Liberal Democrat demand for new mental health staff to work alongside GPs, A&E staff, police and prison officers. Now it is clear that these under-pressure services aren't going to get the full 800 staff they are due.
"More than a third of the staff recruited so far have been attributed to 'other settings'. However, the Scottish Government can't tell us any more about where they are or what they are doing. The target has been diluted.
"We warned the Scottish Government that 800 staff wouldn't be enough to meet the huge demand that exists in GP surgeries, A&E, in prisons and with the police. We asked for much more. The SNP's failure to now even stick to this unambitious but explicit commitment will only add to the pressure these critical services are under."