Angus South MSP welcomes waiting time improvements

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Angus South MSP, Graeme Dey, has welcomed improvement in the situation facing young people needing to access mental health services in the NHS Tayside area.

However, he has pointed that there is still work to be done by the health board.

The Scottish Government has a target for the NHS in Scotland to deliver a maximum wait of 26 weeks from a patient’s referral to treatment for specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) from March 2013, reducing to 18 weeks from December 2014. The target should be delivered for at least 90 percent of patients.

Figures which cover the quarter up to the end of June 2015 show that within the NHS Tayside area 36.9 per cent of patients were seen within 18 weeks and 44.4 per cent started treatment within 26 weeks of being referred, with the median wait being 35 weeks. The respective figures for the first quarter of the year were 34.7 per cent, 37.3 per cent and 49 weeks.

In relation to the more general picture of waiting times, NHS Tayside have been provided with an additional £1.2million from the Scottish Government to support the delivery of improvement.

It has been revealed across Scotland, 875,000 patients within the 12 weeks treatment time guarantee, since the legal guarantee was introduced in October 2012. The figure comes as official waiting time statistics for April to June 2015 show that 94.9 per cent of inpatients and day-case patients were treated within 12 weeks. Over the course of the quarter, 646 breaches of the guarantee occurred in the NHS Tayside area.

Commenting on the statistics, Mr Dey said: “I have been working with my SNP parliamentary colleagues to make it clear to NHS Tayside that they must work to provide a more acceptable level of performance for the young people of this area facing mental health difficulties.

“I therefore welcome the progress that is being made in reducing waiting times although as the figures show improvements must continue to be made, as well as the funding being provided by the Scottish Government to help the health board meet its wider waiting time guarantee for patients.

“I will continue to monitor the situation and press the health board to achieve the national targets.”