SNP failing young people on mental health waiting times

Scottish Liberal Democrats have warned that the Scottish Government is failing children and young people with mental health problems as figures published today showed health boards failed to meet an old target in access to crucial Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).


Official statistics published today showed that between October and December last year, 86 percent of children and adolescents were seen at CAMHS units within the March 2013 target of 26 weeks. In December 2014, the target treatment time was reduced to 18 weeks. Between the same period, only 78.9 percent of patients were seen within the December 2014 target of 18 weeks.

In both instances, the Scottish Government target is to be achieved for at least 90 percent of patients.

When broken down, figures showed five health boards are yet to achieve the 26 week target, and only half of the 14 health boards have achieved the 18 week target now in force.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said:

“Children and young people are being failed by the SNP in the Scottish Government, who have taken their eye off the ball to focus on their independence campaign. These figures paint a picture of health boards trying to swim against the tide, with five boards still failing to meet the old target and only half meeting the new treatment target of 18 weeks.

“Charities are warning that CAMHS services are at crisis point, which is being exacerbated by a shortage of educational psychologists and a lack of capacity in CAMHS units. You wouldn’t expect a young person to wait over six months with a broken leg – the treatment of mental health issues is no less urgent. It’s time the minister for mental health to heed our calls to enshrine parity in law between the treatment of mental and physical ill health, so that more children get the best opportunities in life.”

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