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Local visit reports again highlight the impact of staff shortages and lack of investment

Publication date: 15 May, 2024

The Mental Welfare Commission today published 12 new reports following visits to mental health and learning disability services and prisons in Scotland.

Every year the Commission visits around 100 wards and units for people with mental ill health, learning disability, dementia or related conditions in Scotland. From this year, these visits are being extended to community mental health teams.

During the visits Commission visitors talk to patients, relatives and staff, and examine records. A report is published after each visit. The Commission expects a response to each of its recommendations within three months of the reports being published.

Today’s reports highlight positive findings, aspects of care and treatment where we think the service could do better, and making recommendations for change where necessary.

Claire Lamza, executive director (nursing), Mental Welfare Commission, said:

“The recommendations for change in this month’s reports again highlight the impact of staff shortages that we continue to see in services, and that are connected to wider investment issues.

“Long term vacancies and a greater reliance on bank, agency or locum staff inevitably have an impact on individuals’ care and treatment. We hear from the people we meet about the lack of continuity of care, and from services about the costs of temporary staffing that leads to greater pressure on service budgets.

“The lack of investment in the environment is also a growing issue. We have some concerning examples of long-overdue upgrades that continue to be postponed, with people being cared for in environments that have a negative impact on their recovery.

“Even if it means repeating the same message regularly, we will continue to highlight these issues as we find them, and to call for urgent change.” 

The reports are for: