NHS Grampian miss child mental health targets for more than a year

NHS Grampian has come under fire for failing to meet targets for child mental health treatment for more than a year.

New figures from ISD Scotland reveal the North-east health board is currently the worst performing in the country when it comes to achieving the 90% target for the maximum 18 weeks from referral to treatment in specialist child and adult mental health services (CAMHS).

Just 45% of Grampian’s patients were referred within the target waiting time.

North-east MSP Mike Rumbles said the government has passed up numerous opportunities to improve the struggling service.

He said: “This inept Scottish Government should be embarrassed by the appalling mental health figures.

“They have refused to deliver any meaningful change for mental health treatment in budget after budget and patients are now paying the price. The SNP are failing patients and failing the hard working staff.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “In recent months we have managed to fill vacancies and we are seeing small but steady improvements in the number of young people we are able to see and the time they have to wait for an appointment.

“Our CAMHS staff are working really hard to see patients and provide services. We continue to target the longest waiting patients based on their clinical need and also prioritise responding to children and young people with urgent requirements as quickly as possible.”

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said: “We will continue to work with boards who are failing to meet the target to help them to bring down waits.

“In NHS Grampian, where recruitment of mental health specialists has been an issue, additional funding has been provided for recruitment and staff development.”