Mental Health Officers (Scotland) Report 2016

29 Aug 2017

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) today published the Mental Health Officers (Scotland) Report 2016.

National Stats LogoThis report carries National Statistics designation and is the fifth statistical report on Mental Health Officers (MHOs) in Scotland to be produced by the SSSC.

Download (PDF, 984KB)

The Mental Health Officers (Scotland) Report 2016 presents information on:

  • the number of practising MHOs in post at 5 December 2016, excluding long-term absentees (unavailable MHOs)
  • the hours spent on MHO work by practising MHOs
  • MHO trainees, leavers, vacancies, unavailable MHOs and staffing shortfalls

Key points from the report are set out below:

  • The number of practising MHOs has increased by 5.4% to 722 in December 2016. The contracted whole time equivalent (WTE) has increased by 5.7%, from 602.2 in 2015 to 636.4 in 2016.
  • After reaching a reporting low of 11.2 in 2015, the MHO WTE rate per 100,000 people has risen to 11.8 in 2016, similar to the level seen in 2013.
  • MHOs across Scotland spent just over half of their contracted hours on MHO work in 2016. This is because many social workers practising as MHOs carry out non-MHO work (eg a statutory social work role) for their local authority as well as MHO work. Members of mental health teams spent around three-quarters of their contracted hours on MHO work, while members of non-mental health teams spent around a quarter. Exclusive MHOs (who can belong to either type of team) spent around 95% of their contracted hours on MHO work.
  • In 2016, around two-thirds of Scotland’s local authorities reported a shortfall in their MHO staff resources. The total additional hours per week required to address the shortfalls reported have reduced by 17% from 2015, although they remain high at around 1,290 hours, the equivalent of approximately 36 additional full time exclusive MHOs. Adults with Incapacity (AWI) was once again the most commonly reported specific shortfall area.
  • A total of 60 MHOs left the workforce between 7 December 2015 and 5 December 2016, an increase of 13% over the previous year. Of these, just under half retired, about a quarter resigned and just under a fifth left for other reasons such as a career break or secondment. For the first time in the period examined (2012-2016), the number of MHO Award programme completions (62 in 2015-16) is greater than the number of leavers.

As a National Statistics product, this publication complies with The Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008. The list of people who have pre-release access can be found here.

Data Tables and Charts, and blank Survey Template

Copies of the individual tables and charts in the latest report are no longer provided separately, but now form part of the Mental Health Officer time series data section of the data website (available here). This means the latest data can be viewed as part of the full time series data, some of which goes back to 2005. The tables and charts are available for download in Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) and OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods) format, and the data tables in non-proprietary Comma Separated Values (CSV) format, individually and together in a compressed ZIP file. The provision of the data in these formats is intended to facilitate its analysis and re-use. Below you can download the blank survey template used by survey respondents to submit their data for December 2016. Please note that this illustrative blank template is in normal Excel 2010 format (.xlsx); the real template used by local authorities was a macro-enabled worksheet (.xlsm).

DescriptionFile typeFile size (KB) 
Blank Survey Template 2016 (Excel 2010) .xlsx 37.0  Download