Councillors to decide on Aberdeenshire mental health contract

Astrid Whyte, Chief Executive of Mental Health Aberdeen
Astrid Whyte, Chief Executive of Mental Health Aberdeen

Aberdeenshire Councillors will be asked to approve the award of a new Mental Health Services contract when they meet on Thursday.

Members of the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee will be asked to award the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) the contract worth a possible £2.3 million.

The contract had previously been held by Mental Health Aberdeen who did not tender for the new contract saying that the 26% decrease in budget sought by the council would do “untold damage”.

The new contract, if councillors approve it, will be awarded for a period of two years with the option to extend to two further one-year periods.

The maximum value of the contract is £2.3 million over four years - or £530,000 per year.

The current budget for MHA, who will be shutting down their services in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Ellon, Inverurie, Banchory and Aboyne when their contract ends on December 31, is £708,757 per year.

The report to councillors states that, “the new services will address a number if current gaps in provision.”

The report says that the new service will “move away from building based services to more community-based provision.”

There will be increased focus on recovery and improved links to employability services as well as changes in the eligibility criteria.