I thought it was time for an update on what I had been up to recently. Last week we went to the Model Rail Exhibition at the Glasgow SECC. I had won tickets for the event and along with that I won a limited edition "The Railway Children" train set. Sadly the next day we all ended up with a horrible tummy bug. Ahh the joys of having children at school and nursery, they bring home all the germs! There is one big step I have taken and that is the petition I plan on submitting to the Scottish Parliament in May.
In the quarter ending September 2015 only four health boards met the Scottish government’s LDP Standard performance target for psychological therapy treatment, ten fell short of the mark. The health boards were asked to ensure that at least 90% of patients who needed psychological therapies started their treatment within an 18-week period. In the same quarter 13,030 people started their treatment which meant only 81.1% were seen across the whole of Scotland. This means many were left waiting for access to the support they so badly needed.
I put together a proposal and carried out my own research. As part of my research I opened an online survey so people could tell me about their experiences when approaching their GP in the first instance, asking for referral and what the outcome was. 80% were given a referral, however, half of those people waited 6 months or more for therapy. It's not only adult service that are missing these targets, CAMHS is also falling short and with so many children slipping through the net it is very worrying. Not every child who needs help needs the intense therapies that CAMHS offer. Sadly there is no "minimal" therapy available for children and sometimes all they need is someone, like a counsellor, for talking therapy.
I proposed that:
- Waiting times for adults be reduced to a maximum of 14 weeks for adults and 12 weeks for children.
- Funding and creation of more support groups (peer support) for those who may not need therapy but still want someone to talk to and to feel supported.
- Additional training for primary care staff (especially GP's) when dealing with patients who live with mental health conditions.
Yesterday (March 7th) I met with my local MSP and put my proposal to him. I am glad to report that he is in agreement with me that changes and improvements are badly needed to improve access to psychological therapies.
The next step for me is to try and get as much information together as possible, along with my proposal, that will support my petition that will be submitted for approval in May once the new government are in place and if approved it will be open for public signatures.
If you would like to see the results from the survey in full, feel free to email me and I will send them over to you.