Date lodged: 13 March 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reported comments by the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition that recent NHS waiting time figures for young people’s mental health services show that the system is failing.
Answered by: Maureen Watt 21 March 2018
The Mental Health Strategy 2017-27 sets out the Scottish Government’s vision to improve mental health in Scotland. There are a number of actions in the Strategy aimed at ensuring that children and young people have good mental health and that agencies act early enough when issues emerge and impact young lives. We are committed to improving access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for those children and young people who need them.
In the last quarter the average wait for CAMHS treatment was 10 weeks, but there are still too many children and young people who are experiencing waits that are too long. That is why we have invested significantly to develop mental health services and increase staffing numbers in post. We have announced an additional £150 million for mental health services over five years to help to bring down waiting times and deliver sustainable improvement to services. This includes a £54 million comprehensive package of support to improve access to mental health services for adults and children, which will provide funding for additional staff, for workforce development and for in-depth improvement support to local services. In addition, the Scottish budget 2018-19 secured an additional £5 million for CAMHS. We are developing plans that will aim to deliver whole systems transformational change across the spectrum of support that children and young people will access.