Reported by Aberdeen Evening Express – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
More than a quarter of youngsters in need of specialist mental health care were not seen within the Scottish Government’s target time – with more than 100 waiting over a year for an appointment.
Children’s campaigners and opposition politicians branded the waiting times for Child and Adolescent Mental Services (CAMHS) “unacceptable”.
Over the course of last year 5,227 children and young people in Scotland had to wait more than 18 weeks for a CAMHS appointment – a rise of 1,650 from 2017.
Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon said: “Thousands of young people have been failed in their hour of need.
“It is a national scandal that 5,227 children and young people had to wait longer than the four-and-a-half-months target for mental health treatment.”
NHS figures covering the last three months of 2018 showed 72.8% of children and young people received a CAMHS appointment within 18 weeks.
That is up from 69% for the period July to September – but still well below the target of having 90% of youngsters seen within 18 weeks.
At the same time the number of patients who waited more than a year for an appointment went from 93 in the third quarter of 2018 to 108 in the last three months of the year.
Only five of Scotland’s 14 regional NHS boards met the target of having 90% of patients receive an appointment within 18 weeks for October to December – with NHS Grampian achieving this for just 41.1%.
Scottish Conservative mental health spokeswoman Annie Wells said: “These waiting times are utterly unacceptable, forcing children to wait far too long for essential mental health services.