Postcode lottery for children who need mental health support


Half of Scottish health boards are failing to meet targets to provide support within 18 weeks

13th December 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Half of Scottish health boards failed to meet targets for children who are in need of specialist mental health support.

New figures from the NHS show more than a quarter of children (26.7%) who required treatment did not receive help within the maximum 18-week period.

Health boards in Fife, Forth Valley, Grampian, the Highlands, Lanarkshire, Lothian and Shetland all failed to meet the waiting time target – with the situation described as a mental health lottery.

The figures have led to calls for the budget for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to be tripled.

A spokesman for the Scottish Children's Services Coalition said: “There must be a radical transformation of our mental health services, with a focus on preventing such problems arising in the first place and intervening early, especially when we know that half of all mental health problems begin before the age of 14.

“With mental health and the issues associated with it representing one of the greatest public health challenges of our time, we must ensure that children and young people are able to get the care and support they need, when they need it. This includes investing in greater community support and support at school, reducing the need for referral to specialist CAMHS.”