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McInnes: Young people in Tayside facing longest wait for mental health treatment

June 10, 2015 8:38 PM

Alison McInnes MSP for North East ScotlandAlison McInnes, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Scotland, has said it is "appalling" that just 35% of young people requiring mental health services are treated by NHS Tayside within the 18-week target set by the Scottish Government - meaning hundreds of patients are waiting far longer than they would if they lived elsewhere in Scotland.

During Portfolio Questions in the Scottish Parliament today, MrsMcInnes raised the worrying new CAMHS statistics with the Minister for Health Improvement, Jamie Hepburn MSP. In response, the Minister confirmed that the Scottish Government has asked NHS Tayside, and neighbouring NHS Grampian, to prepare a "detailed recovery plan" by the start of next month.

Afterwards, Alison McInnes MSP commented: "It is clear that young people in Tayside are waiting far longer than anyone else in the country for their mental health treatment to begin.

"In the first three months of this year only 35% of young people started to receive the mental health treatment they desperately need within 18 weeks. This is down from just 52% at the end of last year.

"Everyone knows that early action is more likely to result in full recovery and, in the case of children and young people, will also minimise the impact on other aspects of their development such as their education.

"Ministers may have recently reduced the treatment target from 26 weeks to 18 weeks but what difference does this make if hundreds of young people in Tayside are in reality waiting more than a year for their treatment to begin?

"It is welcome that a recovery plan will now be prepared, but the fact is that the Scottish Government took its eye off the ball and these young people are paying an appalling price."