Scandal of patients kept waiting for mental health appointments
New figures released this week show that almost 400 patients have waited longer than the 18-week target time for access to mental health services in the first three months of 2018 in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde alone.
The numbers show that 96 young people waited longer than 18 weeks for child and adolescent mental health services in the first quarter of 2018, one of whom waited longer than 36 weeks.
And on psychological therapy waiting times for adults, more than 300 patients waited for more than 18 weeks for treatment, this is an increase of more than 250 patients compared with the same period last year.
Jackie Baillie (pictured above right) said: “The SNP government’s warm words on mental health are no comfort to the 400 patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde who have waited more than 18 weeks for treatment in the first three weeks of this year alone.
“NHS patients and staff deserve much more than the consistent failures of this government. It is a national scandal that mental health services are under such pressure that people are being forced to wait far too long. It really is time that this Health Secretary put patients and staff first.”
Meanwhile, almost 100 operations were cancelled by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in April alone because hospitals could not cope, new figures have revealed.
The attention of Health Secretary Shona Robison (pictured left) has been drawn to data published by ISD Scotland shows that 472 operations were cancelled in April and that 84 of these were because hospitals could not cope with demand. In the Royal Alexandra Hospital alone there were 21 operations cancelled for a lack of capacity or non-clinical reasons, yet there were none cancelled for the same period at the Vale of Leven Hospital. The figures show that the Royal Alexandra Hospital is struggling to cope with the increased demand as patients from Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh are sent there instead of using the Vale of Leven hospital.
MSP Jackie Baillie said: “Almost 100 patients have had their operations cancelled because hospitals across Greater Glasgow and Clyde are struggling to cope with an increase in demand and insufficient resources to keep up. We know that Greater Glasgow and Clyde has struggled to fill hospital rotas for a long time and that waiting lists for routine operations are sky high. The Health Secretary has turned a blind eye to the pressure on our NHS but these figures are startling, patients are being left in pain due to capacity issues. With the help of the local community I have consistently argued that services should be restored to the Vale, and this is yet more evidence that directing patients from my constituency to Paisley just isn’t working.”