A local MSP has hit out at the Scottish Government for presiding over lengthy mental health waiting times for children and young people in the health board region where his constituency is located.
Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw’s criticism comes after a Freedom of Information request submitted to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde - the health board for the constituency - identified significant waits for children and young people who need mental health support.
In NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the longest wait a CAMHS patient suffered for their first appointment was 37 weeks.
The longest a patient had to wait between their first and second appointments was 159 weeks although other specialist services provided support during this period.
Mr Carlaw said the long waits would be of major concern to many residents in Eastwood and that poor workforce planning by the Scottish Government had left CAMHS services within the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region completely overwhelmed.
Mr Carlaw added that the Covid pandemic only exacerbated the mental health crisis in the NHS and that children, young people and their families are desperate for specialist treatment to be made available as soon as possible.
Scottish Conservative MSP for Eastwood, Jackson Carlaw said:
“Vulnerable children and young people are suffering truly appalling waits for mental health treatment on the SNP’s watch.
“Even before the pandemic, the Scottish Government were presiding over a mental health crisis among young people and the Covid pandemic has only made the problem worse.
“No patient should be waiting as long as 37 weeks to have their first CAMHS appointment.
“We’re talking about vulnerable, potentially suicidal, young people, so these waits are intolerable and potentially life-threatening.
“They represent a betrayal of young people by the Scottish Government who have presided over dire workforce planning and left CAMHS services in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde completely overstretched.
“An urgent plan needs to be put in place to ensure children and young people in Eastwood who need mental health support are offered appointments at the earliest possible opportunity.”