South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has praised NHS Dumfries and Galloway for rapidly improving Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) waiting times.

The praise comes as figures from the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in the three months to December 2018 90.6% of children and adolescents referred to CAMHS services were seen within the 18 week target period. In December 2018 alone only 1 child waited longer than the 18 week target period meaning that 97.6% of those referred were seen within the target.

Colin Smyth had previously described the situation of nearly 1 in 5 children referred to CAMHS waiting longer than 18 weeks as a scandal. Figures at the time showed that only 81.8% of children referred were seen within 18 weeks.

The figures released yesterday (4 June) show an improvement to the end of last year.

Colin Smyth said, “The significant progress made by NHS Dumfries and Galloway in reducing waiting times for CAMHS is very welcome and local NHS staff deserve praise for their hard work in delivering this turnaround. But there still more to do. I am disappointed that the SNP Scottish Government’s promise of school counsellors and wider mental health support teams in schools has still not been delivered by the Government for pupils in Dumfries and Galloway. The quicker school counsellors are in place in the quicker we will have sustainable mental health support embedded in our schools to ensure that waiting times for services are kept low and children and young people get the support they need as early as possible.”

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