South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has described waiting times for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the Borders as a scandal.

The claim comes as figures released by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division show that in the three months to December 2018 55.7% of patients in the Borders had to wait longer that 18 weeks to be seen after a referral had been made.

Between September and December 2018 97 children and young people who were seen by CAMHS, of those 54 waited over 18 weeks with the longest wait being 35 weeks.

Colin Smyth said, “The waiting times for access to mental health services for children are a scandal. The 18 week target is supposed to be a legal guarantee yet over half of 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 last year they promised to fund school counsellors and wider mental health teams but the funding is still to be allocated to Scottish Borders Council and not one school counsellor has yet been employed. We need more action from this SNP Scottish Government rather than just words.

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