Child mental health waiting times fall

Workforce rises to record level

Waiting times for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) have improved by eight percentage points in the last three months.

Statistics for the first quarter 2016, published by ISD Scotland, show 84.2% of people referred for CAMHS treatment were seen within 18 weeks. This compares with 76.1% in the previous quarter. Half of patients were seen within eight weeks.

Total CAMHS workforce is at a record level, having risen by 1.3% since March last year. There are now 993.5 whole time equivalent posts across the sector, an increase of 29.9% since 2009. The number of clinical staff working in psychological therapies has increased by 1.1 per cent on last year, with 1,079.2 whole time equivalent posts across Scotland.

The number of adults being seen within 18 weeks for psychological therapy stands at 82.8% - down from 83.5% last quarter. Across Scotland, 4,436 people were seen by CAMHS and 13,451 were given psychological therapies.

The 18 week target for mental health treatment is 90 per cent.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said:

“It’s welcome that more children and young people are being seen within 18 weeks, and this is the second quarter in a row where performance has improved. We are determined that we build on this progress to ensure that this challenging target is not only met, but sustained.

“Mental health is a priority for this government, which is demonstrated by the fact that we are the first country in the UK with a dedicated minister for mental health. We were also the first to introduce mental health waiting time targets.

“We are investing an additional £150 million to improve mental health services over five years. Part of this money will be used to improve access to services and to increase CAMHS workforce even further. Some will be spent to find innovative ways to treat mental health problems, to encourage early innovation and prevent people from developing more serious mental health conditions.

“All of this will be backed up by a 10 year plan to transform mental health. I want this to be an ambitious document that further demonstrates the equal status of mental health alongside physical wellbeing. I will be announcing more details of this later in the year.”


CAMHS Waiting Times, Psychological Therapies Waiting Times, CAMHS Workforce and Psychological Therapies Workforce can all be read at:


Media enquiries

Back to top