5 March 2019

Thousands of young people endured waits of more than 18 weeks for mental health treatment last year, official figures show.

New figures published today reveal that 1,232 children seen between October and December 2018 had to wait longer than the four and half months waiting time target.

That means 5,227 had to wait longer than the target time during 2018, an increase of 1,650 on the year before.

Just 70 per cent of patients were treated within 18 weeks, a fall from 77.5 per cent in 2017

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

“Thousands of young people have been failed in their hour of need.

“It is a national scandal that 5,227 children and young people had to wait longer than the four and half months target for mental health treatment.

“Looking after the mental health and wellbeing of Scotland’s children and young people should be a national priority, but these figures show it is clearly not being treated as such by the SNP government.

“Early intervention is vital when a young person is struggling with their mental health and a properly resourced NHS would deliver this.

“SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman must return to Parliament and set out fresh plans to end the mental health treatment crisis that is failing our young people.”

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