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Scottish government to commission review into mental health nursing


A photograph of an NHS nurse looking at a tablet

​ TL;DR

  • The Scottish Government has announced a review into mental health nursing.

  • The review aims to attract, grow, support, and develop the mental health nursing workforce.

  • The Scottish Government will also establish a ministerial Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce to tackle challenges within the nursing workforce.

The Scottish Government has announced plans to commission a review into mental health nursing as part of its new Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Action Plan.


The review aims to explore ways to attract, grow, support, and develop the mental health nursing workforce, alongside seeking to address challenges such as high vacancy levels, retention issues, and training concerns within the mental health and well-being workforce.

The Scottish Government's Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Action Plan is a comprehensive document that sets out the government's plans to improve mental health and wellbeing services in Scotland. The plan includes a number of key commitments, such as:

  • Investing in the mental health and wellbeing workforce to ensure that there are enough qualified staff to meet the needs of the population.

  • Improving the quality of mental health and wellbeing services through training and development, as well as by ensuring that services are person-centered and recovery-focused.

  • Reducing the stigma associated with mental health and wellbeing, and promoting mental health awareness and understanding.

The review into mental health nursing is a key part of the Scottish Government's plans to improve mental health and wellbeing services. The review will be conducted by an independent panel of experts and will consider a wide range of issues, including:

  • The current state of the mental health nursing workforce in Scotland.

  • The challenges facing mental health nurses.

  • The opportunities to attract, grow, support, and develop the mental health nursing workforce.

The review is expected to make a number of recommendations to the Scottish Government on how to improve the mental health nursing workforce. The Scottish Government has committed to implementing these recommendations and to reviewing the action plan after 18 months and updating it in 2025.

In addition to commissioning the review into mental health nursing, the Scottish Government has also announced the establishment of a ministerial Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce.


The taskforce will be responsible for tackling significant challenges within the nursing workforce in Scotland and enhancing working conditions for employees.

The Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce will be chaired by the Scottish Government's Health Secretary and will include representatives from the nursing and midwifery professions, trade unions, and employers. The taskforce will be tasked with developing a plan to address the following challenges:

  • High vacancy rates within the nursing and midwifery workforce.

  • Retention issues within the nursing and midwifery workforce.

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nursing and midwifery workforce.

  • The need to improve working conditions for nursing and midwifery staff.

What do these announcements mean for mental health nursing in Scotland?

The Scottish Government's announcements have a number of implications for mental health nurses, mental health patients, and the wider community.

For mental health nurses, the review into mental health nursing is an opportunity to have their voices heard and to shape the future of the profession. The review is also an opportunity to address the challenges facing mental health nurses, such as high vacancy rates and retention issues.

For mental health patients, the Scottish Government's announcements are a positive sign that the government is committed to improving mental health services. The review into mental health nursing is an opportunity to ensure that mental health services are staffed with enough qualified and experienced staff.

For the wider community, the Scottish Government's announcements are a sign that the government is taking mental health seriously. The review into mental health nursing and the establishment of the Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce are welcome steps that will help to improve mental health services in Scotland.

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