Ministers in Wales are ignoring the growing problem of young people waiting for psychiatric services, it is claimed
The number of young people waiting over 4 weeks for help with mental health issues has increased dramatically over the past year.
In a report last year ongoing problems with mental health services in Wale were highlighted. The Welsh government has said cutting waiting times was a priority, and extra funding of £250,000 had been announced recently.
The number of young people in Wales waiting over 14 weeks for psychiatric services rose from 199 to 736 in the last year, reports the BBC.
A joint review by Health Inspectorate Wales and the Wales Audit Office has said that young people are being put at risk due to inappropriate admissions to adult mental health wards.
Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said: “Sadly the Welsh Labour government is determined to bury its head in the sand and ignore the catalogue of concerns and warnings that young people in Wales are being put at risk. This complacency is astounding and the Welsh Labour government should hang its head in shame.”
A Welsh government spokesperson said: “Waiting times are a priority in our CAMHS improvement plan. We have seen an increase in demand in recent years in part because of changes in 2012 for services to care for young people until their 18th birthday. The Mental Health (Wales) Measure, which came into force in 2012, enables more patients be seen by local mental health services, which means that CAMHS can concentrate on treating the most complex patients. The health minister [Mark Drakeford] recently announced an extra £250,000 a year for CAMHS services, which will ensure more young people are cared for in Wales, reducing the need for costly out-of-area placements.”
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