Waiting times have been slashed in Forth Valley for children and young people requiring help from mental health services.
According to figures published today, there has been a 43.7 per cent improvement since the last quarter.
A total of 94.8 per cent have been seen by Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) within 18 weeks from October to December 2016. This compares with 51.1 per cent in the previous quarter.
An improvement team, led by NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), has been working with NHS Forth Valley mental health teams to redesign and improve access to services.
The team is also working in other board areas which have high numbers of referrals or poor performance against the target.
Jacqueline Sproule, NHS Forth Valley’s CAMHS department manager, said: “The excellent results are the culmination of hard work and a recovery plan that made many small improvements in the way we work. Putting these together has really paid off along with the recruitment of extra specialist staff in all areas of the service.
“Our team have worked very hard to reduce waiting times as no-one wants to see children having to wait for help, especially those who are particularly vulnerable.”
Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said: “This continued reduction in waiting times is encouraging because it demonstrates that access to services is improving. I’m particularly pleased to see that the improvement team, led by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, seems to have made such a positive impact in Forth Valley.
“However I’m clear that we must continue to reduce waiting times and I will not be satisfied until our 90% target is met. Our challenge now is to ensure this improvement is sustained, and to extend it to other parts of the country.
“In the coming weeks I will be publishing our new strategy for mental health. This will lay out how we will change services over the next decade, backed with £150 million of funding.”
Research shows that one in ten children and young people have a mental health problem and 75 per cent go untreated.