South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has expressed concerns over delays in a Scottish Government review into rejected referrals to child mental health services after revealing that there has been a further 165 children in Dumfries and Galloway who have had their referrals for support rejected SINCE the Government announced a review.

In March 2017, after months of pressure, the Scottish Government announced an audit on rejected referrals to Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). However, the Report has still to be published and since then 5,000 children across Scotland have had their referral to CAMHS rejected by the health service since last March. A rejected referral is where a referral to CAMHS is assessed as inappropriate.

Colin Smyth MSP said, “I have concerns over the high number of rejected cases in Dumfries and Galloway. In some cases, there may be completely justifiable reasons as to why cases were rejected, that is the nature of ensuring every referral receives the necessary treatment. The problem is the Scottish Government just don’t know the reasons which is why they agreed to hold a review. However, it is a tragedy that since that review was announced over a year ago a further 165 children in the region have had their referrals rejected”.   

“Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week and these statistics highlight that change must occur to ensure that every child receives the support and treatment the need. The Government has said the Audit Report will be published next month, 14 months after the audit started. It is important that this Report is taken seriously by both the Government and local Health Boards to ensure that we get it right on mental health.”

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