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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-23393

  • Asked by: Paul Sweeney, MSP for Glasgow, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 29 November 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Maree Todd on 11 December 2023


To ask the Scottish Government what support it will make available to GPs and primary care services to support them in delivering the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.


The Scottish Government remains committed to improving mental health service provision in primary care settings. The newly published Mental Health and Wellbeing Delivery Plan sets out our ambition to drive a shift in the balance of care across mental health to ensure a focus on prevention and early intervention in the community, including a focus on providing high quality mental health care in General Practice, by:

  • Working collaboratively to improve access to support, assessment and treatment in primary care mental health and wellbeing services. This will include the development of multi-disciplinary teams in general practice, and maximising the role of community mental health teams, digital provision and NHS 24 to make access simpler and quicker, aligning care and quality with the Getting it Right For Everyone (GIRFE) principles. We will produce an initial report on progress, which will include equality impacts, by November 2024;
  • Publish guidance on measuring and evaluating outcomes from mental health and wellbeing services in primary care by the end of 2023. This includes data indicators for protected characteristics and deprivation; and
  • Continue to include primary care and community mental health as priorities within the Mental Health Outcomes Framework.

We will work with partners, including primary care stakeholders, to progress this ambition.

Additionally, as at 12 July 2022, 958.9 whole time equivalent (WTE) mental health roles have been filled using Action 15 funding, including 356.1 WTE posts in GP practices. Having met and exceeded the Action 15 commitment, the Scottish Government has continued to fund the roles that were recruited to.

By March 2023 186 WTE mental health workers had been recruited under the Primary Care Improvement Fund (PCIF). The PCIF also funds Community Link Workers (CLWs) as part of primary care multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) and, at March 2023, more than 308 WTE CLWs were in post supporting GP practices. We are investing almost £190 million (£170m plus Agenda for Change Uplifts) in the Primary Care Improvement Fund in 2023-24, for the ongoing development of primary care multi-disciplinary teams and we have committed to the PCIF being £170m plus Agenda for Change uplifts in future years.