Long waits for GP and hospital appointments are fueling a mental health epidemic, official figures suggest.
In a survey of 12,000 Britons, a quarter reported poor mental health as a result of delays.
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: “The Government’s inability to cope with agonizing waits for NHS treatment is creating a mental health epidemic.”
“Millions of people are struggling to see their GP or waiting months for hospital treatment because ministers have ruined local health services,” he added.
A further 18 per cent of those surveyed by the Office for National Statistics said muggings had affected their physical health.
Last month, NHS England also revealed there were 7.61 million treatments waiting to be carried out in November 2023, relating to 6.39 million patients.
Figures suggest long waits for doctor and hospital appointments are contributing to a mental health epidemic.
A quarter of Britons in a survey of 12,000 reported mental health problems as a result of delays to the GP and hospital.
NHS England also revealed that there were 7.61 million treatments waiting to be carried out in November 2023.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the government’s “failure to address agonizing NHS treatment waits was creating a ‘mental health epidemic’.”
A declining number of family doctors, combined with a growing and aging population, means patients are struggling to get appointments, with many weeks waiting to be seen.
Sir Ed added: “People are very worried because they and their loved ones simply cannot access the healthcare they so desperately need.”
But Conservative mental health minister Maria Caulfield accused the Liberal Democrats of “shooting from the sidelines” without offering a better plan.
He said the Pharmacy First scheme introduced this week would “help unlock 10 million GP appointments” and that the Every Mind Matters campaign had “helped 1.2 million people access NHS talking therapies”.