The “hidden” NHS waiting list

3000,000 mental health patients were put on a long “hidden” therapy service waiting list by the NHS when expecting immediate help.

Paul Williams a patient who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder sought help through his GP and ended up waiting several weeks to a month for therapy. In a BBC interview he said “I tried to kill myself whilst waiting”. Patients are believing their health is not being prioritized.

NHS have been accused of a hidden waiting list which is causing patients to be seen too late from up to 28 to 90 days at the beginning and in between therapy sessions.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, said “If that critical window passes, then it may be too late. Such experiences may trigger a patient into self-harm, or increase the risk they become suicidal.”

Barbara Keeley Leader for mental health and social care said “patients are rushed into the system to meet targets only to leave them on hidden waiting lists without mental health support”. Due to the long wait patients become impatient and drop out of their therapy sessions.

Charities are warning the public of NHS’s false advertisement of what’s really going on.

However the NHS have said that the increasing number of patients and lack of staff are the reasonable causes of long waits.

Unah Cavanagh, councellor and governor said “NHS England acknowledged there were pressures in the system and said it was now providing financial support to local services to cover the costs of training extra staff”.

According to the Labour Party 90 percent of clinical commission groups are continuing the cycle of waiting for an appointment.

From 2018 to 2019 approximately 122,281 patients had to wait 8 weeks for a second appointment. “No one should be left waiting weeks and even months to receive the support they need.” Says Barbara Keeley.


The public have expressed their feelings aware of how upset they are stating on a YouTube video titled “ NHS mental healthcare doesn’t exist”. Patients are upset that their mental health is not being prioritised as much as it should.

The government set a target for 95% of patients to be seen within 18 weeks.

Overall the NHS are working to improve their mental health department by training more staff to decrease waiting time and make more available space for patients.

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