Hume brands mental health treatment times for children 'appalling'

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume MSP has said children and young people with mental ill health have been left counting the cost of years of underfunding by the Scottish Government in mental health services, as new figures show dozens are still having to wait more than a year for treatment.

The Scottish Government’s target for health boards is for 90% of patients to be seen within 18 weeks. In the final quarter of 2015, only 76% of children and young people were seen within 18 weeks for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) treatment.

More than 50 children either waited over a year to start treatment or still remain on the waiting list after more than 12 months.

Mr Hume said: "It is appalling to learn that dozens of children across Scotland are still waiting more than a year to get the crucial mental health treatment they need. This must feel like a lifetime for young people and their families. 

"The improvement we have seen in Tayside is welcome but in Forth Valley, just one in three children are being seen within the 18-week treatment target. Months after the announcement of a 'new improvement programme' and then a 'detailed recovery programme' for NHS Grampian, waits in the North East increased again. Fewer than half of children and young people are now being seen within the waiting time target. This is simply not good enough. 

"These figures show that children and young people struggling with mental ill health have been left counting the cost of years of underinvestment from the SNP government. This is why Liberal Democrats are clear that we need a step change in the way that we support mental health services in Scotland."

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