Latest figures from ISD Scotland show that NHS Fife is still failing to meet the 18-week standard set for tackling child and adolescent mental health.
Despite the standard being set at 90% of patients being seen within the 18-week period, only 70.2% were seen within that time in the past quarter. Whilst this is up from the 67.7% in the quarter previous, it is down on the 74.8% for the same time last year.
These figures must serve as a wakeup call for NHS Fife and the Scottish Government. I am regularly contacted by constituents concerned by their, or their child’s, long waiting times and we need to see action taken to ensure all patients are seen within 18 weeks.
We need to remember that those that come forward seeking treatment will have been dealing with this illness for a sustained period beforehand. The last thing that they will want to feel is ignored and parked on a waiting list when they come forward for help.
This is a significant point of a child’s and young person’s life and owe it to them to let them know that help and support is available.
The time for warm words and promises are over, these latest figures show the need for urgent and immediate action.
After 12 years in Government, the SNP now claim to prioritise mental health. We need to see their promised school counsellors, which Labour campaigned for, appointed as soon as possible and the fast tracking of young people to specialist services introduced if we are not to fail a generation.