Crisis point

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As a coalition of independent and third sector children and young people’s service providers we are greatly alarmed by the new waiting time figures for children accessing mental health services (your report, 25 February).

Covering the quarter from October to December 2014, these indicate that five health boards are currently failing to meet a Scottish Government 26-week waiting time target for treatment from specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), introduced way back in March 2013. And half are missing the target of an 18-week waiting time, which came into force in December 2014.

Our members deal with vulnerable children and young people, many of whom require these services. Set against the background of an increase in those identified with additional support needs (ASN) this has inevitably led to greatly increased pressures on those working in this sector, such as educational psychologists and child and adolescent psychiatrists.

We are at a crisis point, which is why we have renewed our call on the Scottish Government for greater support for failing health boards and to support recruitment into the sector, ensuring that the most vulnerable young people in our society get the 
support they deserve.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition 

Sophie Pilgrim

Kindred Scotland

Tom McGhee

Spark of Genius

Duncan Dunlop

Who Cares? Scotland

Stuart Jacob

Falkland House School

Brian Durham

Young Foundations