Mental health waiting list ‘ truly shocking’
Mental health patients are being failed by an overworked system, new figures have shown.
Just 76 per cent are being seen by a psychological therapist within 18 weeks across Ayrshire and Arran. The target is 90 per cent. South of Scotland MSP, Colin Smyth, said the “unacceptable” waiting times must be arrested.
According to ISD Scotland, 1939 people were on the waiting list to be seen as at June 30.
Smyth, the shadow health minister, said: “The latest waiting time figures for people to get support are completely unacceptable.
“Again and again people are calling for the Scottish Government to take mental health issues seriously, yet waiting times continue to grow.
“In Ayrshire and Arran we need to ensure services are available to people who need them wherever they live in the region.
“Having to wait over 18 weeks to just be simply seen by a psychological therapist truly shocking.
“A large part of our area is rural and access to health care is crucial.
“Just imagine reaching out and saying you have mental health issues, asking for help and being told you have to wait 18 weeks just to be seen.”
Stephen Brown, interim director of the North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We would like to apologise to anyone who has had to wait longer than this.
“The term ‘ psychological therapies’ ‘ covers a wide range of different services, some of which are meeting or exceeding the target.
“These include medical paediatrics psychology, community eating disorders, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services ( CAMHS), learning disabilities and clinical health psychology.
“That does not detract, however, from those areas of service where improvement is required.
“Outside of specialist psychological services, the Primary Care Mental Health teams are also facing increased demand from those with mild- to- moderate mental health problems, which has led to increased waiting times.”
Anger MSP Colin Smyth