South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has described the latest waiting times for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) as a “scandal” and has urged the SNP Government to get a grip before more children are let down.
The latest figures published by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in the three months to September this year 63.8% of patients in the Borders waited longer than the 18 week legal waiting time target. This was a considerable increase from 8.6% in the same period last year.
Five patients in the region had to wait over 36 weeks to begin treatment.
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “The waiting times for access to mental health for children are a scandal. The 18 week target is supposed to be a legal guarantee yet nearly one in five children locally are not being given the care they need when they were promised it and that is nothing short of a disgrace. The longer a child has to wait for treatment with mental health issues the more difficult and longer their recovery will be.
The SNP Government need to get a grip and properly fund our local NHS to help them tackle this scandal. In the wake of the worst CAMHS figures earlier this year, the SNP announced funding for school counsellors and mental health teams but not one new counsellor is yet working with pupils in our schools. We need more action from this SNP Scottish Government before more and more children are let down”