Mental Health Officers (Scotland) Report 2012

29 May 2013

The Scottish Social Services Council today published the 2012 Mental Health Officers' report.

This is the first statistical report on mental health officers (MHOs) in Scotland to be produced by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). In previous years this report was collated and published by the Scottish Government and assessed by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) as a National Statistics publication in that it complied with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The SSSC has followed the same methodology as that used by Scottish Government, and the UKSA assessed the SSSC’s MHO publication for compliance with the Code of Practice in the second half of 2013.  In July 2014, the UKSA announced that their Assessment Committee had approved the recommendation that the SSSC's MHO Report should retain its National Statistics status.

Download (PDF, 619kb)

Scroll down to find links to all the report's data tables and charts in Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) and OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods) format, plus all the report's data tables in non-proprietary Comma Separated Values (CSV) format.  The CSV files are available 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.  Also available for download is the blank survey template used by survey respondents to submit their data for December 2012.

Some minor errors were identified in the published 2012 MHO data during the process of compiling the 2013 MHO Report - these can be found here.

In all previous years the survey collected information about the number of qualified MHOs who were practising within Scotland on the 31 March. In 2012 the date has changed to 3 December as this is the same collection date used for the annual census of local authority social work services. This change in date means that the data in this report is not directly comparable with that of previous MHO reports but it is comparable with the annual census.

The 2012 Mental Health Officers' Report presents information on:

  • the number of practising MHOs in Scotland, in post at 3 December 2012
  • the workload carried out by MHOs in Scotland.

Key points from the report

  • The number of practising MHOs has increased from 688 on 31 March 2012 to 698 on 3 December 2012.
  • The staffing whole time equivalent (WTE) has increased from 635.4 on 31 March 2012 to 643.2 on 3 December 2012, this is an increase of 1.2%.
  • In March 2012 there were 304 MHOs in non-specialist mental health teams, this increased in December 2012 to 339.5, a rise of 11.7%. The number of MHOs in specialist mental health teams has decreased between March 2012 (384) and December 2012 (358.5) by 6.6%.
  • The number of MHOs in exclusive positions has increased from 167 in March 2012 to 176 in December 2012, this is the highest number of exclusive MHO positions that has been recorded in this publication. The number of unfilled exclusive MHO vacancies has decreased from 16 in March 2012 to 13.9 in December 2012, a fall of 13.1%.
  • On 3 December 2012, 72.4% of MHOs were aged 45 and over. Male MHOs were on average older with 76% being aged 45 and over, compared to 71 % of females. At the time of the survey 68% of the MHO workforce were female.
  • The number of trainee MHOs has fallen substantially to 33 in December 2012. There were 59 trainees in March 2012 and 105 in March 2008.
  • A total of 56 MHOs left the workforce between 4 December 2011 and 3 December 2012, of which a quarter retired and a quarter had a change of post.
  • The number of MHOs working on assessment and treatment orders shows an increase of 22.9% between March 2012 (210) and December 2012 (258). The two other areas of work reported within this publication are compulsion orders, which have increased by 16% in this same time period and designated MHOs for restricted patients which have decreased by 0.85 %.
  • The majority of mentally disordered offenders (MDO) cases are carried out by MHOs on specialist mental health teams. The percentage of this work undertaken by MHOs on specialist teams stood at 81.8% in 2008 and decreased to 66.2% in December 2012.

 Data Tables and Charts, and blank Survey Template

DescriptionFile typeFile size (KB) 
All tables and charts .xlsx  361.6 Download
All tables and charts .ods  339.5 Download
All tables (compressed CSV files) .zip 9.8 Download
MHOs: Nos & WTEs .csv 0.3 Download
MHOs: Type of MH Team .csv 0.3 Download
MHOs per population .csv  0.3 Download
MHOs: Age & Gender .csv  2.1 Download
MHOs: Ethnicity .csv  0.8 Download
MHO Trainees .csv  0.2 Download 
MHO Leavers .csv  1.2 Download 
MHO Vacancies .csv  0.6 Download 
MHOs: Specialist Teams .csv  3.0 Download
MHOs: Non-specialist Teams .csv  5.0 Download 
MHOs: Exclusive positions .csv  2.9 Download 
MHO work .csv  1.4 Download 
MHOs as proportion of all practising SWs .csv  1.3 Download 
Definitions of terms .csv  0.7 Download 
Blank Survey Template 2012 .xlsx 69.4 Download