More children waiting over a year for mental health treatment

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said it was a “disgrace” that more children are waiting over a year for mental health treatment, after new statistics also showed more than 3 in 10 children waiting beyond the treatment target.

The ISD Scotland figures showed 313 children and young people waiting over a year for treatment, compared to 209 for the previous quarter.

They also showed that just 69% of children who started their treatment during the quarter ending September 2018 did so within the 18-week waiting time target. The target was met for just 36% of children in the Borders and Tayside, while just 45% in Grampian were treated on time.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

"It is a disgrace that more children and young people are waiting over a year for the treatment they need. Mental ill health among this age group is at crisis levels. Waiting so long for a substantive intervention can have a devastating impact on them and their families.

"Staff are working around the clock but they aren’t getting anywhere near the support and resources they need. As a result, in some areas just one in three children are treated on time.

“Liberal Democrats demand better. It is time the Scottish Government adopted in full our plan to end the scandal of long waits and long journeys for treatment.

“The CAMHS budget must be boosted, mental health beds need to be established north of Dundee and every GP surgery and A&E in the country should have a mental health practitioner capable of treating people. That is the level of investment and ambition required if the government is to stop failing a generation of young people."

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