John Lamont MP has written to Humza Yousaf, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, calling for “swift and comprehensive action” to support under-resourced mental health services in the Borders.
The latest figures published by Public Health Scotland demonstrate that just 46.1% of NHS Borders patients were seen within the Scottish Government’s 18-week target time in the first quarter of 2022.
Further, more than three in ten patients waited for more than 53 weeks to receive mental health treatment. This is an almost four-fold increase in the number of patients waiting this length of time in the final quarter of 2021.
John Lamont MP said:
“Like everyone in the community, I am hugely grateful for the continued hard work of all NHS Borders staff.
“However, the decline in timely access to mental health treatment is no surprise, given the Scottish Government is focused on another independence referendum.
“The SNP’s priorities are all wrong. There is a clear shortfall in investment in mental health services in the Borders. Steps to address this are necessary for the sake of the mental wellbeing of our community.
“I have called for urgent action by the Cabinet Secretary and will closely scrutinise the urgent action plan that I have requested. Borderers deserve markedly better access to mental health services, and I will not rest until the Scottish Government delivers this.”
Rachael Hamilton MSP said:
“Staff across NHS Borders have been working tirelessly to get on top of waiting times; whether it is in A&E, routine surgery or mental health services.
“The latest figures on CAMHS waiting times are truly devastating, and it is frustrating to see this trend continue despite the hard work of our NHS staff.
“Staff and patients continue to be let down by the SNP and Green Party Government. A few weeks ago, they showed their true colours by setting a date for another divisive referendum, when their focus should be on solving the pressing issue people across Scotland are facing.
“The SNP and Green Party need to urgently reassess their priorities, and focus on the issues that really matter to people. They are showing complete contempt for those on CAMHS waiting lists by putting their vanity project over the needs of people struggling with mental health problems.”