Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has said scandalous mental health waits are the price patients and staff are paying for the SNP’s independence obsession, after new statistics showed the worst mental health waits on record.
The figures, published by ISD Scotland today, showed that children and adolescent mental health services:
- Are seeing fewer children than a year ago and those children are waiting on average two weeks longer;
- Just 45% of children in Grampian and 48% of children in Lothian receive the mental health treatment they need within the 18 week standard;
New statistics on psychological therapies showed:
- 73.7% of adults were seen within 18 weeks – the worst performance on record;
- Only three health boards met the waiting time standard for psychological therapies, with just 40% of patients in Forth Valley seen within the 18-week target;
- 708 people waited, or are still waiting, over a year for psychological therapies.
Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:
“These figures are scandalous. Intolerable waits for mental health treatment are the price that children and adults are paying for the SNP’s independence obsession.
“Children are waiting over 600 days for the treatment they need. Staff are working incredibly hard but they are being let down too.
“We have heard the SNP’s warm words on mental health time after time. They have some nerve because the truth is waiting times are now the worst on record. Their new mental health strategy, a blueprint for next ten years, was panned for its lack of ambition and detail.
“Only the Liberal Democrats will deliver the step change we so desperately need in mental health. It would see new mental health staff in every GP practice, A&E, police division and prison, alongside new beds for children in the Highlands and North East.
“Every Liberal Democrat elected on Thursday will prioritise mental health, while every SNP MP will always put independence first. That is the choice people face in places like East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh West, North East Fife, the North East, Argyll and the Highlands.”