MSP Baillie accuses SNP government of ‘presiding over a crisis’ in services for children and adolescents

Social Work director Jackie Wright, Beth Culshaw and Jackie Baillie MSP.

Jackie Baillie, the MSP for Dumbarton and Lomond, has called on the Scottish Government to take action on child and adolescent mental health services after figures have revealed that more than 30 per cent of patients were not treated within the target time up to June 2018.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services waiting times have hit a record high with just 67.8 per cent of patients being treated within the target time and just three health boards meeting the target.

In Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the picture is more positive with 84.2 per cent of patients seen within 18 weeks. However, there were still over 15 per cent of patients who waited up to 35 weeks for treatment which represents almost 900 patients. This left over 150 patients waiting between 36 and 52 weeks for treatment.

Scottish Labour has accused the SNP of presiding over a crisis in Child and Adolescent Mental Health services.

She said: “It is simply not good enough that more than 1,000 children and young people in Greater Glasgow and Clyde waited longer than 18 weeks for treatment from mental health services.

“This is a national scandal, this SNP Government is failing our children and young people and despite their warm words, the problem is just getting worse.

“Mental health treatment is a vital service. I welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has followed Labour’s lead and put a counsellor in every school. Whilst they have announced investment in mental health services last week, people cannot wait much longer, we need to see services improve now.”

Clydebank, Vale of Leven and Dumbarton health centres – “extra support for GPs”.

In West Dunbartonshire, according to the annual report of the Social Work director, Jackie Irvine, the Council is looking at the priority need for mental health development to incorporate extra support to GP practices, Early Interventions and how they might link mental health with justice to ensure that people moving out of prison care are provided with support in relation to mental health care, housing and support.

She says the Council is currently working with colleagues across Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board and the six HSCPs to develop the transformation required in order to meet the requirements of the Mental Health Strategy for 2018-2023.

This work is underway in line with the Scottish Government principles; empowering individuals and communities, to integrate service provision, to prioritise expenditure on public services which prevent negative outcomes and to be more efficient.

Adverse Childhood Experiences is one area they are looking at. In May this year a small working group of staff from across agencies delivered two local events to raise awareness of the impact of ACEs not only on children but importantly on the lifelong effects to both an individual’s emotional and physical health.

The aim of the event was to engage people from all support services to better understand some of the challenges presented by having a high ACEs score but also to provide a positive understanding.

West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, based at Hartfield Clinic in Dumbarton and headed up by Beth Culshaw, brings together the full complement of service including Children’s Social Work and Criminal Justice Services.

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