South Scotland MSP and Shadow Health Minister Colin Smyth has urged the Scottish Government to “get a grip” over mental health services in Dumfries and Galloway after the revelation that the use of compulsory mental health treatments such as Emergency Detention Certificates (EDCs) has risen dramatically according to new report.
The Mental Welfare Commission (MWC) monitoring report reveals that Dumfries and Galloway is one of two health boards which is consistently above the average Scottish rate for the number of Emergency Detention Certificates (EDCs).
The region has seen a rise from 54.5 to 76.2 per 100,000 of population in the last year- continually increasing every year since 2011/12 when the figure was just 42.3. The report reveals that the use of EDCs in Dumfries and Galloway is five times higher than Grampian.
The report follows on from recent figures published by ISD Scotland which showed “unacceptable” waiting times for patients to see receive psychological therapy in Dumfries and Galloway. The figures published last month showed that in Dumfries and Galloway only 69.7% of patients are seeing a mental health therapist within 18 weeks- well below the target of 90%. Of the 727 patients seen, just 507 were seen within the target of 18 weeks meaning 220 people had to wait over 18 weeks just to be seen. The problems do not stop there as it is estimated that there are still 1074 on the waiting list to be seen in Dumfries and Galloway when last counted on 30 June 2017.
Commenting on the report from the Mental Health Commission, South Scotland MSP and Shadow Health Minister Colin Smyth MSP said: "The continued upward trend across Scotland in the use of compulsory treatment, particularly emergency detention, under the Mental Health Act is deeply worrying with the figures in Dumfries and Galloway particularly concerning. There’s no doubt that one cause is the unbearable pressure on mental health services where we have seen growing waiting times. If people aren’t given the support they need early on, then the outcome can often mean the need for compulsory, rather than voluntary, treatment when their condition has deteriorated through a lack of care. These figures follow on from the recent report that showed totally unacceptable waiting times for patients to get mental health support in Dumfries and Galloway. I hope this acts as a wakeup call for the Scottish Government, who need to get a grip and start to invest in the resources needed for early intervention, or these figures will continue to rise."
The recent report on Psychological Therapies Waiting Times n NHS Scotland
(Quarter ending 30 June 2017 -Publication date – 5 September 2017) can be read here: