Wait times for young people seeking treatment for mental health is rising

  • Figures released by Scottish Labour have found that the number of young people who are waiting to be seen by mental health services has increased tenfold in a year.

    The figures revealed that people waiting 53 week rose from 20 to 226, reports the BBC. /images/mentalhealth.jpg

    A spokesman said £17m had been invested in improving services since 2009 and that it would continue to work to "ensure that all young people who need the services get them within the time they should expect".

    Scottish Labour's health spokeswoman Jenny Marra said: "Twenty vulnerable young people waiting over a year for treatment is 20 too many. For the figure to multiply by more than 10 is simply horrifying. These children aren't even close to the waiting time target for mental health services - they are waiting over twice as long as the SNP want our NHS to aim for. This is a failure from the SNP government in Edinburgh. If these figures were A&E waiting times or delayed discharge it would be nothing short of a national scandal. We cannot allow these vulnerable children to be forgotten about."

    A spokesman for the Scottish government said: "We have introduced the waiting times target that no-one will wait longer than 18 weeks from referral to treatment for access to child and adolescent mental health services, while when they are assessed as needing to access a service more urgently they will be seen more quickly, sometimes on the same day. Half of all health boards are meeting that tougher target. Seven health boards are not yet meeting the target, but they all have action plans in place. We are right to drive progress and we are right to set an even tougher target, to ensure that we can accelerate progress, and to have put in the resources."

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