By Harry Bell
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton today said the Scottish Government must show it has “an ironclad plan” to bring down mental health waits after new statistics showed 2,138 children waiting over a year for mental health treatment.
Quarterly Public Health Scotland statistics also show 5,000 adults waiting over a year.
The 18 week treatment target was missed for more than 1 in 4 children and young people (27.4%) while 17.3% of adults weren’t seen on time.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, left, said: “Earlier this year Scottish Liberal Democrats secured £120 million extra for mental health services. These statistics show how badly that funding and more is needed.
“It is devastating for children and their families that so many have to wait over 18 weeks for treatment, let alone over a year. After everything they have been through, nobody deserves to be met by a wait for help that must feel endless.
“Pre-pandemic the only thing the SNP’s last waiting times recovery plan had delivered in three years was the worst waits on record for children and young people. Now they are promising to clear waiting times in two years.
“The Scottish Government needs to immediately publish its working in full because children and young people deserve access to the best care. They must not be parked on medication or referred to online interventions because ministers have a target to reach.
“It requires proper investment on top of the £120 million already secured by Scottish Liberal Democrats and a ironclad plan to increase the workforce.”
Top picture: Gartnavel Royal Hospital.