Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today warned that progress towards cutting waiting times for psychological therapies has stalled as new statistics showed hundreds of Scots have been forced to wait more than a year for treatment.
Across Scotland, only 82.8% of the 13,451 patients who started treatment for psychological therapies between January and March 2016 were seen within 18 weeks, against a target of 90%.
121 patients who started their treatment in January to March 2016 waited more than a year to be treated. An additional 332 people who had been waiting for more than 12 months were still waiting to be seen at the end of the review period.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
"These targets were introduced to ensure that vulnerable adults could get the mental health support they need as quickly as possible. But progress towards meeting these targets has stalled and we are still seeing nearly 500 patients waiting more than a year for treatment.
"It is time for a step change in the way we treat mental ill health in Scotland. That means increasing funding to record levels and delivering a new mental health strategy to ensure that mental ill health is at the heart of our NHS."