Tayside and Fife Teenagers face “shocking” wait for mental health services

Statistics have revealed that the wait to access mental health services in Tayside and Fife for children and adolescents has increased over the past year.

According to the figures, which were revealed in a parliamentary question response, children in Fife now face a median wait of 10 weeks whilst kids in Tayside have an average wait time of 18 weeks- the second highest figure in Scotland.

The Scottish Government target for the NHS in Scotland is to deliver treatment within a maximum wait of 18 weeks from a patient’s referral to treatment for psychological therapies. This target should be delivered for at least 90 per cent of patients.

In 2012-13, the average wait time in Fife and Tayside was 7 and 11 weeks respectively, a number which has substantially increased.

Commenting Murdo Fraser MSP said;

“These figures are shocking and it is hugely concerning that the median wait has increased substantially in Fife and Tayside over the past year.

“For any child or teenager to have to wait four and a half months before being treated is simply not acceptable, but the fact that this is the average in Tayside is not good enough.

“As more people are diagnosed with mental health-related conditions demand is bound to increase but the Scottish Government have failed to plan for this.

“Only children or adolescents in the Grampian area face an average wait longer than patients in Tayside. However, clearly other areas of Scotland are getting it right in relation to mental health treatment and it is important that both Fife and Tayside learn from these examples of good practice.

“Youngsters growing up today face a whole host of new pressures which can result in depression and anxiety and as a result it is important that the Scottish Government equips NHS Boards with the tools to deal with this, and proper workforce planning is a good place to start.”

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