Mental Health Spending

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 13 January 2016.

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Photo of Dennis Robertson Dennis Robertson Scottish National Party

14. To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to increase spending on mental health. (S4O-05247)

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

Despite the UK Government reducing our total budget by 4.3 per cent in relative terms between 2015-16 and 2019-20, the draft budget for 2016-17 confirmed that the £397 million resource consequentials for health would be passed on in full, bringing the total budget for the health, wellbeing and sport portfolio to more than £13 billion for the first time.

Last year, I announced investment of £100 million to improve mental health services over the next five years. The draft budget for the coming financial year provides an additional £50 million, resulting in a total package of £150 million.

On Tuesday, the First Minister announced that £54.1million—more than one-third of that package—will be invested during the next four years to improve access to services for people of all ages, including children and adolescents.

Photo of Dennis Robertson Dennis Robertson Scottish National Party

I thank the minister for that comprehensive answer and I welcome the increase in spending. Can the minister confirm whether any national strategy or guidance is being considered to aid the transition of people from child and adolescent mental health services to adult services?

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

I recognise that it is essential for patients to maintain contact with mental health services when they move between services such as adolescent and adult services. Health boards have in place arrangements to ensure the minimisation of disruption to care and to avoid loss of contact.

We are engaged in the early stages of the new mental health strategy. I welcome all suggestions about what could be part of that, and I will certainly make sure that Mr Robertson’s point is included in our considerations. If he, or any other member, wants to contribute to that process, they are welcome to do so.