Data reveals long local mental health waiting lists

Alice Macdonald, Labour’s candidate for Norwich North, has released data showing the high numbers of local people stuck on mental health waiting lists, as calls grow for the Government to address their failed handling of mental health services across the country.

Since 2010, the Conservative Government has cut one-in-four mental health beds across the country, as waiting times for treatment have soared. Across NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board, there were 11330 children on waiting lists in December and 20315 adults. 

Many mental health services are at breaking point after 13 years of Conservative Government – staff are overstretched, and NHS services have been neglected for over a decade. The result is that hundreds of thousands of people are turned away from services without having any treatment. Across NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board in December, 4840 referrals were closed before the patient received any treatment, a staggering number.

Labour has a plan to tackle these problems, by recruiting thousands more mental health staff, guaranteeing treatment within a month, providing access to a mental health professional in every school.

Alice Macdonald, Labour candidate for Norwich North, said:

“These figures are shocking. The Conservative Government has quite simply not taken the action needed to ensure children and adults can access the mental health services they need. 

“Our community and our children deserve better. Labour has a plan to ensure high quality mental health services. We will enshrine a preventative approach to mental health, opening mental health hubs for children and young people locally and making sure that all of our local schools have access to a mental health professional.”

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, said:  

“Waiting lists are soaring and patients are left receiving inadequate treatment, all as a result of the Government failing on children’s mental health. Once again, it’s the most vulnerable paying the price for the Tories’ shocking neglect.

“After 13 years of Conservative mismanagement of our NHS, children are being left to languish in Emergency Departments, instead of receiving appropriate mental health treatment. Mental health services are now on their knees.

“The next Labour Government will prioritise a truly preventative plan for mental health services and will put patient care first. We will ensure access to mental health professionals in every school and put an open access hub in every community, funded by closing tax loopholes. This is in addition to guaranteeing mental health treatment within a month for all who need it, by recruiting thousands of new mental health staff.”