Rachael Maskell MP, Member of Parliament for York Central has released data showing the huge 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 have cut one-in-four mental health beds across the country, as waiting times for treatment have soared. Across the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (organisation accountable for NHS spend and performance across the region), there were 12690 children on waiting lists in December and 34475 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 the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board in December, 5890 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.

Rachael Maskell MP, Member of Parliament for York Central said:

“These figures demonstrate just how much our community, and our children, are struggling after 13 years of Conservative government. Children should receive the care they need when they need it.

“I am regularly contacted by families who are desperate to get the support and care their family members need and deserve. It is a heartbreaking situation, where sadly, we have children in our community who are currently unable to access education or simply cannot cope, waiting to receive the right care.

“Our children deserve better – it’s why the next Labour Government 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 highly skilled mental health professionals. The Government must urgently recruit and train the staff needed to not only to abate this crisis, but develop a system of good mental healthcare for the future.

“I have further been questioning the effectiveness of interventions, since improvement in mental wellbeing are not just the domain of mental health services, but local authorities, schools and communities. Ensuring a more holistic approach, rather than measuring episodes of treatment, will deliver better long term outcomes.”

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.”

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