Scottish Labour MSP Martin Whitfield has warned of a “crisis” in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), after new figures revealed that more than 3,800 young people in the NHS Lothian area are waiting for treatment.
The statistics for the end of July 2021 show that of the children and young people on the waiting list, only 43.3 per cent in NHS Lothian had been waiting less than 18 weeks, despite the Scottish Government’s target stating that 90 per cent of patients should be seen within 18 weeks.
Shockingly, more than 1,100, around 29 per cent, have been waiting over a year.
Worryingly, during the quarter ending July 2021, 16.6 per cent of young people referred to CAMHS in NHS Lothian had their referral rejected.
Across Scotland, CAMHS waiting lists hit a record high, adding to fears that mental health services are not equipped to deal with the impact of the pandemic on children and young people.
Commenting, Martin Whitfield MSP said:
“These figures need to be a wake-up call for the Scottish Government. Staff are working tirelessly to try and keep these vital services going, but NHS Lothian simply cannot cope.
“The risk the pandemic poses to children and young people’s mental health has been clear for a long time. The SNP’s failure to act sooner and invest in services is nothing short of negligent.
“We urgently need a real plan to fix this growing crisis and make sure every single young person referred to CAMHS gets the treatment and support they need in a timely manner.”