UK's diverging paths on therapy
Scotland is set to leave the rest of the UK behind on talking therapies after committing itself to expand access – in stark contrast to the Chancellor's pre-Budget report.
The Scottish Executive released a strategy document pledging to 'increase availability of psychological therapies for all age groups in a range of settings'. A plan for training and recruitment will be in place by April 2007.
In contrast, last week's pre-Budget report made no commitment to expand services elsewhere in the UK, prompting fears the expected funding would not be forthcoming in next year's Comprehensive Spending Review.
Pulse has responded by working with Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris to put down an
early day motion demanding the Government follow Scotland's lead. The motion stressed the need for therapy for all patients, after concerns Gordon Brown only planned to expand access for those of working age.
Dr Chris Manning, chief executive of Primary Care Mental Health and Education, reacted with fury. He said: 'It beggars belief that a government that is in power for a sustained period of time has not dealt with this.
'Is this the United Kingdom or not? If I was still practising, I would advise my patients to move to Scotland,' he added.
The Treasury said although the pre-Budget report had not committed to funding for recruitment or training, cash could still be allocated in next year's spending review.