4 June 2019

- 1 in 4 children in young people waiting too long for mental health treatment.

- Nursing and midwifery vacancies rising.

- Spending on agency staff in nursing and midwifery soaring to more than £26 million.

The SNP government must listen and change direction or "the future of the NHS is not sustainable", Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson Monica Lennon has said.

The warning comes after official figures published by ISD Scotland showed a catalogue of problems across the health service.

One in every four children and young people seen for mental health treatment in the first three months of 2019 had to endure a wait of more than 18 weeks to get the treatment they needed, with 3,120 still waiting over 18 weeks at the end of the quarter.

Meanwhile, 5 per cent of nursing and midwifery posts for qualified and support staff are vacant (up from 4.5 per cent last year) and spending on agency staff in this area has soared by 10.9 per cent year-on-year to £26.2million.

Scottish Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, Monica Lennon MSP, said:

“Hardworking staff in health and social care are spinning more plates than ever as we enter the 13th year of the SNP in government.

“People are right to ask why they and their families are forced to wait for urgent mental health services and social care.

“SNP Ministers should have done much more on health prevention and NHS workforce planning. Instead operations are routinely cancelled and people are stuck in hospital for longer than necessary.

“Mental health is a priority in words only. Scottish Labour knows this needs to change and we are prepared to do the hard work to ensure Scotland’s health and social care services are fit for the future.

“The Scottish Government must show a willingness to change direction because the future of the NHS is not sustainable otherwise.”

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