By Lucy Ashton

Children and young people are being ‘abandoned’ by the SNP, Scottish Labour has said today, as new figures show 7,701 children and young people were waiting to start treatment at CAMHS services.

For the quarter ending March 2022, just 74.2% of children and young people seen had waited less than the SNP’s 18-week referral standard.

This left nearly a quarter of all patients seen having waited over four months to begin their treatment after a referral had been made.

These shocking statistics come just a month after Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar, pictured right,  revealed that almost 25 children a day are rejected from CAMHS treatment in 2022 despite spiralling mental health.

Scottish Labour has called for a revamp of mental health support to improve services and ensure every young person is given the support they need.

This includes a 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.

Scottish Labour Mental Health spokesperson Paul Sweeney, pictured left,  said: “These figures show that for all their promises, the SNP has left children and young people behind after years of neglect.

“It is a national scandal that so many struggling children and young people are being rejected from support and being forced to wait months to begin treatment.

“This shameful state of affairs must be stopped immediately. The SNP must make mental health a priority and make the changes Scottish Labour has proposed to ensure everyone has access to the support they need.”

  • 7,701 children and young people were waiting to start treatment at quarter ending March 2023.
  • 74.2% of children and young people were seen within 18 weeks of referral. The Scottish Government standard states that 90% of children and young people should start treatment within 18 weeks of referral to CAMHS.
  • Top picture: Gartnavel Royal Hospital in Glasgow.

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