Mental Health Services

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th December 2018.

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Photo of Annie Wells Annie Wells Conservative

I thank the minister for sight of her statement. I welcome the report; indeed, there is no one in the chamber who would not want mental health to be given the commitment that it needs. However, there are still questions to be asked.

At the moment, almost a third of children who need it are not being seen for mental health treatment within 18 weeks. That is completely unacceptable, and the task force has recommended a reduction to 12 weeks. That is still an extremely long time to wait, but there was no mention of it in the minister’s statement. Does the Scottish Government intend to reduce waiting times to 12 weeks, and will the minister make a personal commitment to solving the CAMHS crisis by this time next year?

Moreover, despite a whole section of the draft budget being dedicated to workforce priorities, there was absolutely no mention of the commitment to recruiting an additional 800 mental health workers. I note that only three community link workers were recruited between July and September, even though the Scottish Government had committed to recruiting 250 by the end of the session. What progress has been made in that respect?