Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said "horrendous and heartbreaking" new statistics showing the worst child mental health waits on record overshadow the launch of the First Minister's Programme for Government.
The ISD Scotland figures show that just 67.8% of children who started their treatment during the quarter ending June 2018 did so within the 18-week waiting time target. The previous low was 71%. It also compares to 81% in the same period a year ago.
The target was met for just 34% of children in Tayside, while Forth Valley, Grampian and the Borders all failed to achieve 50%.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
"These statistics are horrendous and heartbreaking. This crisis will overshadow the First Minister's Programme for Government.
"There is no excuse for the worst child mental health waits on record. They show more than 200 children and young people waiting over a year for treatment. This SNP Government is failing a generation of young people who need help and it is having a devastating impact on them and their families.
"Staff are working around the clock but they aren’t getting anywhere close to the support and resources they need.
“Liberal Democrats have laid out clear plans to end the scandal of long waits and long journeys for treatment and the First Minister must deliver immediately. This crisis requires doubling the CAMHS budget, establishing mental health beds north of Dundee and putting mental health practitioners capable of treating people in every GP surgery and A&E in the country. That is the level of investment and ambition required if the government is to stop failing a generation of young people."