Liz Smith MSP has slammed the SNP Government following the release of figures which show that 59.7% of young mental health patients in Fife have waited longer than the 18-week guarantee to get treatment.
The politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region for the Scottish Conservatives, described the figure for those waiting for treatment at the end of June as “shocking” and called on the SNP Government to address the issue.
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Scotland) statistics released by Public Health Scotland show that 59.7% of young mental health patients in NHS Fife had to wait more than 18 weeks for treatment. By comparison, NHS Tayside had 42.1% and NHS Grampian had 17.5% waiting up to the end of June this year.
Commenting, Liz Smith said: “The figure for young people in Fife waiting to get help for mental health issues is shocking. The percentage of patients waiting at the end of June is the highest this has been for more than a year in Fife.
“These figures clearly illustrate that the SNP Government took its eye off the ball on mental health long before the outbreak of Covid-19. They are failing some of the most vulnerable children and young people who require urgent mental health support.”
Liz Smith continued: “The Covid-19 lockdown will have made matters a lot worse for young people who have mental health issues in terms of increasing anxiety and concerns. It really isn’t good enough to have 59.7% of children and adolescents in Fife having to wait longer than the 18-week guarantee.
“The Referral to Treatment (RTT) standard was set up by the SNP Government and they should do all they can to make sure it is adhered too. They need to take urgent action to support NHS Fife at this time.”