Extreme Waiting Times for Mental Health Patients in Wales

 16th Jun 2016

It seems the ongoing struggle for people living with mental health conditions is persisting with latest news of waiting times being ‘several years’ for specialist care.

These findings from BBC Wales show how care for people with mental health conditions is being continually overlooked and vulnerable people are being greatly affected as a result in many Welsh health care organisations.

To further quantify this, some individuals are being forced to endure waiting times as long as 50 months before obtaining necessary care in worst case scenarios.

Those suffering from more ‘conventional’ health conditions are often provided with treatment after just weeks of being diagnosed – a clear indication of the inequality present within many organisations in the health sector.

One of the worst situations was found to be Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area in Caerlon, Wales where supposed staff shortages caused by long term sickness were causing people to be exposed to waiting times of just over 4 years before meeting with clinical psychologists.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is another provider who has been shown to offer disproportionate long waiting.

Patients People  deemed to be ‘high risk’ are seen almost immediately, whereas those who are classed as lower priority cases can face waiting upwards of 26 months for support services.

Transparency appears to be another widespread issue as, despite quarterly aggregation of data, many organisations claimed they were unable to provide this important information when queried by BBC Wales.

Charlotte Jones, a spokeswoman for British Medical Association in Wales stated these figures were “unacceptable” and were a result of the insufficient investment available for organisations in the sector.

Although these statistics were collected from institutes in Wales, there needs to be radical changes in the way mental health care is addressed throughout the UK as well as, fundamentally, a substantial increase in the amount of funding available.

Current investment is simply not sufficient to offer the level of care required by many individuals and this latest news highlights how even waiting times have been severely affected by the heavy prioritisation of conventional, physical health problems.

Numerous spokespersons from political parties including UKIP and Plaid Cymru have since declared proposed increases in public spending for mental health care.

However Welsh Labour (who have been responsible for managing the NHS in Wales for the past 17 years) have defended their party’s actions, claiming they had made substantial improvements to mental health care in the country.

Encompass provide a wide range of care services specifically designed to improve the quality of life for people living with either an enduring mental health condition or learning disability including respite care, supported living and innovative day care support.

Find out how our support works can help your or a loved one today by clicking here.

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