HUNDREDS of people were forced to wait for more than three months to get their second mental health treatment in Barnsley last year, new figures have revealed.
The NHS’s talking therapy service treats patients for common mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression.
In the year to November 2022, around 2,070 patients received a second treatment in the former NHS Barnsley CCG area - but 615, or 29.7 per cent, had to wait more than 90 days from their first one.
However, this was a fall from 46.6 per cent in the year to November 2019.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists, a staff body, said delaying treatment could ‘put patients’ wellbeing at risk’.
Dr Adrian James, the organisation’s president, said: “Some patients’ mental health may deteriorate if left untreated, which can have a detrimental impact on their quality of life and have potentially life-altering consequences.
“There is also a danger that long waiting lists will undermine people’s faith in mental health services and discourage them from seeking the support they need.”
The figures show services in the former NHS Barnsley CCG area were meeting that target in the year to November - with 96.4 per cent of 5,335 patients receiving treatment within six weeks.
As of November, around 535 people were waiting for a first treatment in Barnsley - up from 380 in November 2019.
An NHS England spokesperson said: “The NHS is committed to increasing support for patients through its world-leading talking therapy services, and in November there were 60,000 more appointments completed compared to the previous month.
“The NHS is also increasing the number of trainee places for more people to join the workforce, so if you are struggling with your mental health, you can either refer yourself to your local NHS talking therapies service online or contact your GP.”