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Worsening mental health waiting times require urgent action

August 26, 2014 2:20 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has urgedJim Hume MSPJim Hume MSP the SNP to redouble their efforts to meet a flagship NHS mental health target due for delivery this December amid concerns that enough progress isn't being made.

Figures published today showed that the target of at least 90% of people waiting for psychological therapy doing so for no more than 18 weeks for treatment is some way off being delivered by health boards.

Official figures have revealed that fewer patients are being treated within the 18 week target over the course of the past year.

In June, there were 1,627 patients in Scotland who had been waiting for these key treatments.

Commenting, Mr Hume said:

"For too long mental health services have been the poor relation to physical health services in our NHS. I am extremely concerned that with less than four months to go until the Scottish Government's flagship target is to be met, treatment times for these crucial treatments are going backwards.

"Over 1,000 have been waiting over 18 weeks for psychological therapy. This is incredibly stressful for mental health sufferers and their families, and can have a real impact on their personal and professional lives.

"It is time that the treatment of mental health and physical health is given the equality it deserves. No-one should be left to suffer in silence."