Colin Smyth MSP
A new report released from ISD Scotland has shown that children are waiting longer to access mental health services in Dumfries and Galloway.
The report showed that 80% of children were being seen by child mental health services within the legal 18 week guarantee, whilst the remaining 20% were having to wait up to 35 weeks. 29 children had to wait up 25 weeks between September and December 2017.
This compares with only 1 year ago when 100% of children were seen within the 18-week limit.
The report comes at a time of growing pressure on SNP Government for its poor management of the NHS during the winter health crisis.
Waiting time targets for accident and emergency in Dumfries and Galloway have been missed again- meaning the target has not been met at all during 2018, with only 86% of patients being seen within the 4-hour target. Last week saw 3 patients left waiting over 12 hours in Accident and Emergency before being seen by a doctor.
Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary had particularly poor results with only 83.9% of patients seen with 4 hours, whilst Galloway Community Hospital had 91.5%.
Commenting on the latest figures, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “I am really sad for the children and young people who have been parked on mental health waiting lists for several months when they should have been seen within 18 weeks. The 18-week target is already 50% higher than the 12-week waiting time target for a physical health problem but it is still not being met”.
“The warm words of SNP ministers are amounting to nothing for these youngsters and their families who are being so badly let down. Getting access to mental health treatment as early as possible is vital to help children and young people recover quickly and carry on with their studies. The longer they have to wait, the more severe their condition is likely to get”
“When a child reaches out for help and is then told they will have to wait up to 35 weeks before even being seen, it places huge strain on both the child and their family”.
“Mental health services are failing to deliver, because the Scottish Government are not putting adequate resources into mental health care. If a child had broken their leg and had to wait 35 weeks before being seen by a doctor, there would be a national outcry. Why does the SNP Government think it is acceptable just because it is a mental health condition?”
“The Scottish Government’s mismanagement of the NHS stretches far beyond mental health services. Our waiting times target in accident and Emergency have again been missed. I have seen first-hand the incredible work the staff do and their dedication to their job is remarkable, but there is only so much they can do whilst the SNP pile more financial pressure on the health board which will have to manage £20m of cuts this year. Workloads are increasing and staff morale is plummeting and it is patients that are bearing the brunt of the problems through longer waiting times”