Aberdeenshire councillors approve new mental health contract

Aberdeenshire Council's current HQ at Woodhill House, Aberdeen

Aberdeenshire Council's current HQ at Woodhill House, Aberdeen

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Aberdeenshire councillors have approved the award of the new Mental Health Services for the Shire contract at a meeting in Aberdeen today.

Councillors on the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee awarded the contract to bidders Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH).

The contact, worth a possible £2.3 million, will run for two years with the possibility of two further one-year extensions, costing £530,000 a year.

The previous contract held by Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) cost £708,757 per year.

MHA did not bid for the contract renewal saying the 26% cost cutting of the budget would do "untold damage".

The new contract will begin on January 1 2017 when the current one expires.

Councillor Richard Thomson, Committee Chair and Council Leader said: “This contract has been deliberately structured to uphold a number of key principles, the most important of which is that we want to deliver mental health services based on equity and fairness across Aberdeenshire, with input from service users and based on delivering services at point of need.

"We are looking forward to working with SAMH and would like to thank the other organisations for their involvement with this detailed and necessarily complex process.”