By Lucy Ashton
Children and young people in West Dunbartonshire, Helensburgh and Lomond have been “abandoned” by the SNP, Jackie Baillie has warned.
Latest figures show that 1221 children and young people who are treated within the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area are currently on a CAMHS waiting list – 10 percent of whom have already been waiting longer than the target 18 weeks.
The Dumbarton constituency MSP, pictured left, raised concern that the mounting pressure on services is leading to young people being turned away, with Labour’s analysis showing that 32 percent of referrals in Greater Glasgow and Clyde were rejected.
Across Scotland, 25 children and young people a day have their referral to CAMHS rejected.
Labour recently held a debate in the Scottish Parliament highlighting the fact that almost 30,000 children, young people and adults are currently waiting for mental health treatment and calling for action to improve services.
These asks include the creation of a new referral system to ensure no young person is rejected for treatment, the provision of a dedicated mental health worker in every GP practice and a mental health A&E department in every health board so that patients can be fast-tracked, and an increase in mental health spending to at least 11 percent of the NHS budget.
Jackie Baillie said: “Children and young people in West Dunbartonshire, Helensburgh and Lomond have been abandoned by the SNP at every turn, from their dire record on education to their failure to support CAMHS.
“Mental health services are at breaking point despite the tireless work of NHS staff, and thousands of children and young people are at risk of falling through the cracks.
“Far too many children and young people in Dumbarton constituency are facing long waits for help, or worse still being turned away altogether.
“The SNP must back Labour’s plans and deliver the action we desperately need to prevent a full-blown mental health crisis unfolding in the area.”