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Cole-Hamilton reveals 50,000 mental health-related ambulance call outs

September 3, 2017 7:30 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today criticised the SNP's passive approach to mental health after new figures revealed there have been over 50,000 mental health-related ambulance call outs in the last five years.

Statistics acquired by the Scottish Liberal Democrats reveal that there have been 54,548 ambulance call outs that were mental health-related since 2012-13.

Commenting, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"The work that our emergency services do is incredible however these new figures demonstrate the scale of the challenge they face. While there will of course be people for whom an ambulance is the most appropriate service, for others a call out will be testament to the failure of other services to intervene and provide the treatment they need earlier.

"We have heard the SNP's warm words on mental health time after time but are yet to see the action they promise. Their new mental health strategy, a blueprint for next ten years, was 15 months late and derided for its lack of ambition. Children are waiting almost two years for treatment and it was recently revealed someone waited 1200 days to be discharged from a mental health unit. New staff have been promised but there is still no detail on when, who or where they will be.

"This passive approach will not deliver the step change in mental health we desperately need. Scottish Liberal Democrats want to end the under funding of mental health, establish new units for children and provide more professionals at more locations capable of delivering treatments and therapies."