Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today warned that the SNP’s failure to take mental health seriously is behind new statistics showing more "intolerable" waits for psychological treatments.
The figures, published by ISD Scotland today, show that just three quarters (76.6%) of patients were seen within 18 weeks and only two NHS Boards met the target. This means the target was missed for 3,267 patients in the last quarter while a further 5,821 patients still on the waiting list have waited over 18 weeks already.
The statistics also showed 760 patients waiting over a year for treatment.
Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:
“These statistics show how those with mental health issues are treated as second class citizens.
“The SNP talk up tackling mental health but truly treating these conditions on an equal footing with physical health requires a step change in approach. Warm words won't make up for a mental health strategy that charities and campaigners have warned does not go far enough.
"Hundreds of people are waiting more than a year for care. This is intolerable and whilst these people are left waiting the risk is their mental health is only deteriorating without treatment.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats have consistently called for action to end the scandal of long waits, including new child mental health services across Scotland and new staff capable of delivering treatments in every GP practice and A&E. It is high time SNP ministers delivered the scale of intervention required."