Four month waiting list for Mental Health Support

New figures announced today reveal that hundreds of children in Scotland identified as needing mental health support are waiting morethan four and a half months to be seen by a specialist.

Barnardo’s Scotland has said that today’s newly published Scottish Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Waiting Times statistics are very concerning, and highlight the scale of challenge for health boards ahead of December 2014, when the Scottish Government’s new target of a minimum wait of 18 weeks to be seen comes in to effect.

The latest figures published today by ISD Scotland show that, between January and March 2014, 580 young people waited longer than 18 weeks for treatment. The charity has a long-standing concern about the lengthy periods of time vulnerable children with mental ill-health have to wait before getting treatment.

The new figures also show four NHS Boards in Scotland were not even meeting the existing target of 90% of children and young people getting seen within 26 weeks. This has been the Scottish Government’s target since March 2013.

The latest figures from ISD Scotland show:

· That, in the three months between January and March 2014, 310 children and young people had waited more than 26 weeks, the existing target, to be seen by specialist mental health services

· In that quarter, 580 children and young people had waited more than 18 weeks, the target due to be introduced by the Scottish Government in December 2014.

· That 4 of 14 NHS Boards in Scotland are still not meeting the Scottish Government’s current target of a maximum wait of 26 weeks. All of these NHS Boards were also below the target when the last batch of figures were published on the 25th of February.

· A further four NHS Board areas, making a total of eight, are not currently meeting the stricter target, due to be introduced in December 2014.

On the publication of new mental health service waiting times for children and young people, Martin Crewe, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said, “These new figures show that hundreds of very vulnerable young people in Scotland are still waiting too long to get the critical support that mental health services provide. Children and young people who have suffered trauma and abuse need timely support. It is therefore very worrying that in some parts of Scotland young people with mental ill-health are waiting more than four and a half months to get NHS treatment.

“With less than six months until the Scottish Government’s target of 18 week waiting times takes effect, health boards and the Scottish Government have their work cut out to bring down these waiting times.

“If we are going to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up, we need to make sure that young people in every part of Scotland can get mental health support in a timely fashion.”

The full set of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Waiting Times statistics is available from ISD Scotland:


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