Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Shetland Beatrice Wishart today revealed that Shetlanders are waiting more than 600 days for mental health treatment on the SNP’s watch, describing the waits as “devastating”.
A Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information request has shown:
- 62 adults waiting over a year to start their treatment (treated in 2018/19 or still on the waiting list at the end of the year),
- Adults waiting up to 643 days (over 21 months) to begin their treatment.
The SNP Government’s target is to treat people within 18-weeks.
Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Shetland Beatrice Wishart commented:
“One of the key issues that people I have spoken to on this campaign have raised time and time again is mental health and what a devastating impact long waits for treatment can have.
“Frankly I was shocked to discover that people are waiting wait more than 600 days for the treatment they need. It is a damning indictment of the SNP’s handling of our health system.
“Staff are working around the clock but they are getting nowhere near the support and resources they need to be able to treat people when they need it. Both staff and patients have every right to demand better of the Scottish Government.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to press for much more investment in mental health, specialist beds for young people north of Dundee and new practitioners in every single GP surgery and A&E department. This will help people be treated on time, ending the scandal of 22 month waits for treatment.”
Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael added:
“Liberal Democrats have the strongest record of fighting for better mental health services. We have consistently exposed gaps in the system such as these scandalous long waits, we secured the appointment of a mental health minister for the first time ever and we hold the First Minister to account week after week on her government’s failings.
“We don’t need yet another government backbencher toeing the government line. The SNP’s priority will always be independence. If they put anywhere near the same amount of energy into solving the mental health crisis then we wouldn’t be seeing these waits for treatment of almost 2 years.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have propelled mental health up the political agenda. With Beatrice Wishart as our MSP we would have someone who will always put Shetland first and who will keep up the pressure to train and recruit the specialist staff we need.”