About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) waiting times for the quarter to 30 September 2020.

NHS Boards, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, made changes to their service delivery in March 2020. All NHS Boards have advised that the measures put in place have had an impact on their figures. More information can be found in the Data Quality document.

Main points

For the quarter ending September 2020:

  • 4,032 children and young people started treatment at CAMHS in Scotland. This is a 13.6% increase from 3,548 starting treatment in the previous quarter, and a 3.3% increase from 3,902 starting treatment in the same quarter the previous year.
  • Six out of 10 (60.6%) children and young people were seen within 18 weeks, compared to 61.7% for the previous quarter and 64.5% for the quarter ending September 2019. The Scottish Government standard states that 90% of children and young people should start treatment within 18 weeks of referral to CAMHS.
  • Half of the children and young people seen started their treatment within seven weeks while half started treatment within 13 weeks in the previous quarter and in the same quarter the previous year.
Image caption Percentage of patients seen by CAMHS within 18 weeks of referral, by quarter, NHSScotland
  • Since schools have reopened the numbers of children and young people being seen have returned to pre-COVID levels.
  • Across Scotland, just over one in seven patients (14.8%) referred to CAMHS did not attend their first appointment which is an increase from the previous quarter where 13.6% did not attend their first appointment, and also an increase from the same quarter ending September 2019 where 14.0% did not attend their first appointment. This could be due to reluctance, or inability, to engage in digital appointments.
  • 7,271 children and young people were referred to CAMHS in Scotland for quarter ending September 2020. This compares to 3,987 for the previous quarter, and 7,465 for the quarter ending September 2019. Following the reopening of schools, the number of referrals are returning to pre-lockdown levels.
Image caption Total number of Referrals by quarter, NHSScotland September 2015 – September 2020
Total number of Referrals by quarter, NHSScotland September 2015 – September 2020

Further information

Data from this publication are available from the publication page on our website.

The next release of this publication will be 02 March 2021.

NHS performs

A selection of information from this publication is included in NHS Performs (external website). NHS Performs is a website that brings together a range of information on how hospitals and NHS Boards within NHSScotland are performing.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.camh@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 15 July 2021
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