Access to mental health services for young people in the NHS Tayside area is ‘unacceptable,’ says Graeme Dey, the MSP for Angus South.
The Scottish Government set a target for the NHS in Scotland to deliver a maximum wait of 26 weeks from a patient’s referral to treatment for specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) from March 2013, reducing to 18 weeks from December 2014.
The target should be delivered for at least 90 per cent of patients.
Figures, which cover the quarter up to the end of March 2015, however, show that NHS Tayside is not meeting either of these targets, with only 34.7 per cent of patients being seen within 18 weeks and 37.3 per cent getting treatment within 26 weeks of being referred.
Commenting on the statistics, Mr Dey said: “I, along with my colleague Mike Weir MP, have already raised concerns with NHS Tayside and sought detail on the measures being taken to address the unacceptable situation.
“With the statistics today revealing that there is a median wait of 49 weeks from referral to treatment, it is vital that effective action is taken to ensure that NHS Tayside treats all of those who require good quality healthcare in a timely manner.
“I look forward to seeing progress being made.”
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “Over the past few months, NHS Tayside has been undertaking a detailed improvement programme for CAMHS designed to reduce outpatient waiting times.
“In January, nine additional nursing and medical staff took up posts and the CAMHS team is now making an impact on the waiting times.
“They have been reviewing the waiting list and making appointments for those young people who have been waiting the longest to be seen.
“We are pleased to report around 100 new appointments were made during January and the waiting list will continue to reduce over the coming months.
“However, patients should be reassured that all urgent referrals are assessed and continue to be seen quickly.”