A leading coalition of independent and third sector children and young people’s service providers, while welcoming Scottish Government increased investment of £85m in mental health services1, has urged it to act quickly ensure that NHS Health Boards achieve waiting time targets for access to children and adolescent services.
The call from the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition (SCSC) (see Notes to Editors for members), comes as new figures are published today (26th May) from the Information Services Division of National Services Scotland, part of NHS Scotland, covering the quarter from January to March 2015. 2
The Scottish Government set a target for the NHS in Scotland to deliver a maximum waiting time of 26 weeks from a patient’s referral to treatment for specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) services from March 2013, reducing to 18 weeks from December 2014. The target should be delivered for at least 90% of patients.
The new figures indicate that for Scotland’s 14 Health Boards as a whole 85.2% of people are being seen within the 26-week target dating from March 2013 and 78.9% for the target from December last year. Both these are failing to reach the 90% set by the Scottish Government.
11 of the 14 Health Boards have currently achieved this 26-week waiting time target from March 2013, with the 3 who haven’t being NHS Forth Valley (82.7%), NHS Tayside (37.3%) and NHS Lothian (67.4%).
8 of the 14 Health Boards currently achieve the December 2014 18-week waiting time target, except for NHS Fife (80.7%), NHS Forth Valley (57.1%), NHS Grampian (73.6%), NHS Lothian (53.8%), NHS Shetland (83.3%) and NHS Tayside (34.7%).
The NHS in Scotland provides mental health services for children and young people with a wide range of mental health conditions including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety, behaviour problems, depression and early onset psychosis.
Sophie Pilgrim, Director of Kindred Scotland, speaking on behalf of the SCSC, said:
“As a coalition we are delighted that the Scottish Government has committed an additional £85m in mental health over the next 5 years and that this is to be partly to be used to address child and adolescent mental health waiting time targets. We would urge the Scottish Government to act quickly to ensure that those Health Boards who are failing to meet waiting time targets are given the support they need to do so, ensuring that those children and young people requiring these services do not miss out.
"Families usually experience months of waiting even before a referral to CAMHS. The consequent delay in diagnosis and appropriate support can result in crisis and the need for costly extra resources."
1 Scottish Government, £100m for Mental Health, 24th May 2015. Available at: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/-100-million-for-mental-health-1919.aspx.
2 NHS Information Services Division, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Waiting Times in Scotland, 26th May 2015. Available at: https://isdscotland.scot.nhs.uk/Health-Topics/Waiting-Times/Publications/2015-05-26/2015-05-26-CAMHS-Report.pdf?12273806334.
For further information please contact Alex Orr, Policy Adviser to the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition, on 0131 603 8996 or [email protected]
Notes to Editors
2.Members of the SCSC are: