Mental health statistics

Continued rise in number of young patients.

The number of children and young people being seen by mental health services has risen by nearly a third in the last two years.

New statistics, published today, show there were 4,642 children and young people seen in the quarter ending June 2016, compared to 3,560 in the same period in 2014 - a rise of 30%. In this most recent quarter 77.6% were seen within 18 weeks.

To help improve this performance, a team led by Health Improvement Scotland is currently working in some of the board areas with the longest waits to redesign services and improve efficiencies.

For adult psychological therapies there were 12,779 people seen in the quarter, with 81.2% seen within 18 weeks.

Workforce statistics also published today show the number of psychologists working in CAMHS has more than doubled since 2007 – from 120.8 whole time equivalent posts (141 headcount) to 253.5 (305 headcount) now.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said:

“The continued and substantial increase in demand for child and adolescent mental health services clearly show that in the past there far too many children who were unseen and whose need was unmet for far too long.

“To respond to this we have doubled the number of psychologists working in CAMHS. We are also investing an additional £150 million over five years, and will be publishing a new mental health strategy at the end of the year.

“I have been clear with boards that any falls in performance towards the challenging 90% target, or children experiencing long waits, is simply not good enough.

“That’s why, as part of our investment, an improvement team is working with some of the boards that are facing particular pressures. Services are being redesigned so that in the future performance is improved.”

Gareth Adkins, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said:

“A team from Healthcare Improvement Scotland is working with mental health teams to provide support to improve access and reduce waiting times in these valued and important services.
“There has been an enthusiastic response to the support and the team are busy working with clinicians and managers in services across Scotland.

“They are helping staff to ensure services are designed and delivered in the most efficient way. This involves making the best use of the expert clinicians’ time to ensure people are seen by the right person, in the right place, as soon as possible.

“The Information Services Division of NHS National Services Scotland are also providing support to boards to improve data collection and analysis that is vital to managing and improving these services.”


Workforce and waiting time statistics for CAMHS and psychological therapies are available at

The Mental Health Access Improvement Team is currently working with NHS Forth Valley and NHS Lothian which have demonstrated some of the lowest levels of attainment against the target, as well as NHS Ayrshire and Arran and NHS Dumfries and Galloway, which have the highest rate of CAMHS referrals in Scotland.


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