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Survey reveals waits vary widely between UK regions

Pulse's special investigation into access to depression services has uncovered wide variations across the UK in waiting times.

The eight local health boards in Wales had particularly long waiting times for initial assessment, with adults waiting 60 days and children 106 days.

Patients in the North-West face long waits, at 103 days for initial treatment for adults and 241 for secondary care treatment for adults, both above average.

PCTs in the South-East had the shortest waits for secondary care treatment at 126 days.

In contrast, PCTs in London took just 32 days to assess adults and 71 days for children, although waits for secondary care treatment in London were well above average.

The investigation found children in the East Midlands had to wait much longer than the national average for assessment and treatment.

Children waited 124 days for assessment compared with the average of 79; and 140 for treatment by the child and adolescent mental health service, as opposed to an average of 102.

The regional breakdown excludes health boards in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as their response rate to the survey was very poor.

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