Scottish Labour MSP Claire Baker has called on the Scottish Government to do more for young people in need of support, following the news that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services waiting lists have hit their highest point on record. New figures show that 352 young people in Fife are waiting for treatment.
The statistics for the end of July 2021 show that of the children and young people on the waiting list in Fife, 37.2% had been waiting more than 18 weeks, despite the Scottish Government’s target stating that 90% of patients should be seen within 18 weeks. During the quarter ending July 2021, a further 15.5% of young people referred to CAMHS in Fife had their referral rejected.
Claire Baker is calling for more to be done to reduce waiting times for CAMHS as well as to provide additional community support services.
Across Scotland CAMHS waiting lists hit a record high, with almost 12,000 young people waiting to be seen at the end of June. Almost 1,700 young people have waited more than a year.
Commenting, Scottish Labour MSP Claire Baker said:
“These figures show that much more needs to be done to provide community support and services for young people. While staff are working hard to keep vital services going, too many young people in need of support are having to wait to be seen.
“Referral times are simply too long and must be reduced, but we also need to see more community support for mental health available in the short term. There are cases where young people are in need of support but struggle to get it due to lengthy referral times and this must be addressed.
“The risk the pandemic poses to children and young people’s mental health has been clear for a long time but the SNP Government has failed to invest in the services needed.
“We urgently need a real plan to fix this growing crisis and make sure every young person referred to CAMHS gets the treatment and support they need. We also need to support local services delivering short-term solutions by ensuring they have the resources to increase capacity so demand can be met.”