Latest figures show a service in crisis

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A new NHS report released from ISD Scotland has shown that children are waiting longer to access mental health services in Dumfries and Galloway.

The report showed that 80 per cent of children were being seen by child mental health services within the legal 18 week guarantee, whilst the remaining 20 per cent were having to wait up to 35 weeks. 29 children had to wait up 25 weeks between September and December 2017.

This compares with only 1 year ago when 100 per cent of children were seen within the 18-week limit.

Waiting time targets for accident and emergency in Dumfries and Galloway have been missed again – meaning the target has not been met at all during 2018, with only 86% of patients being seen within the four-hour target. Last week saw three patients left waiting over 12 hours in Accident and Emergency before being seen by a doctor according to MSP Colin Smyth.

Commenting on the latest figures, the South Scotland MSP said: “I am really sad for the children and young people who have been parked on mental health waiting lists for several months when they should have been seen within 18 weeks. The longer they have to wait, the more severe their condition is likely to get”

Barnardo’s Scotland said: “The statistics published today on waiting times are just a small part of the bigger picture of children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“We believe a multi-disciplinary approach to children and young people’s mental health is required, one which utilises the knowledge and skills from a range of professionals and agencies including health, education, social work and the third sector.”