If these figures related to cancer patients the nation would be in uproar, says new president of Royal College of Psychiatrists. The gap between treatment for mental health problems and physical illnesses is so huge that it may prove impossible to bridge, says Professor Simon Wessely.
While the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has pledged to deliver “parity of esteem” for mental and physical health services, the treatment gap is now so huge that it may prove impossible to bridge in the current financial climate, said Professor Simon Wessely of King’s College London in his first interview since election to the post.
“People are still routinely waiting for – well, we don’t really know, but certainly more than 18 weeks, possibly up to two years, for their treatment and that is routine in some parts of the country. Some children aren’t getting any treatment at all – literally none. That’s what’s happening. So although we have the aspiration, the gap is now so big and yet there is no more money,” he said.
To read more on the interview with Professor Simon Wessely visit the Guardian website