About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) waiting times for the quarter to 31 March 2020.

NHS Boards, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic made changes to their service delivery in March 2020. More information can be found in the Data Quality document.

Revisions relevant to this publication summary 10 June 2020

In the original release, the total individual Board’s figures of the report in table 8, page 22 for those referred to CAMHS who did not attend their first contact appointment, did not add up to the Scotland figure. The combined Island Boards data were not included in the Scotland total.

In the original summary release, fourth bullet point stated that: Across Scotland, more than one in eight patients (13.3%) referred to CAMHS did not attend their first appointment which is an increase from the previous quarter (11.6%) and also an increase from the same quarter ending March 2019 (9.7%).

This has been revised to show that across Scotland more than one in eight patients (13.3%) referred to CAMHS did not attend their first appointment, which is an increase from the previous quarter (11.7%) and also an increase from the same quarter ending March 2019 (9.8%).

Main points

  • 4,093 children and young people started treatment at CAMHS in Scotland which is a 5.4% increase from the previous quarter (3,884), and 3.4% decrease from the same quarter the previous year (4,237).
  • Nearly two thirds (65.1%) of children and young people were seen within 18 weeks, compared to 66.4% for the previous quarter and 73.6% for the quarter ending March 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 11 weeks which is the same as the previous quarter and a decrease from the same quarter the previous year (12 weeks).
Image caption Percentage of patients seen by CAMHS within 18 weeks of referral, by quarter, NHSScotland
Line graph showing the percentage of children and young people seen within 18 weeks over the last two years for all Scotland. The percentage of people seen within 18 weeks was 69.0% for September 2018. The next two quarters shows an upward trend to 73.6% for quarter ending March 2019. Performance is 65.1% for the latest quarter ending March 2020.
  • Across Scotland, more than one in eight patients (13.3%) referred to CAMHS did not attend their first appointment which is an increase from the previous quarter (11.7%) and also an increase from the same quarter ending March 2019 (9.8%).
  • As expected there has been a drop in referrals during March 2020. In this quarter 8,959 children and young people were referred to CAMHS in Scotland compared to 9,196 for the previous quarter, and 9,861 for the quarter ending March 2019.
Image caption Total number of Referrals and Referrals rejected by quarter, NHSScotland March 2015 - December 2019
This is a time series of referrals by quarter in NHS Scotland. There is an overall trend line plot on the graph which is trending upwards from March 2015 to March 2020, with seasonal variation.

Background

The main function of CAMHS is to develop and deliver services for children and young people (and parents and carers) who are experiencing mental health problems. They also have an important role in supporting the mental health capacity of wider children’s services. Delivery of good quality CAMHS depends on timely access to health care and adequate numbers of well trained staff being recruited and retained across NHSScotland.

Further information

Find out more in the full report. The data from this publication is available to download on this page.

For more information on Waiting Times for Psychological Therapies see the Psychological Therapies (external website) section of our website. CAMHS Psychology Workforce information is also included in the main Psychology Workforce publication (external website). Previously published information can still be accessed on the Data and Intelligence website (external website).

For related topics, please see the Mental Health (external website) pages.

You can also view CAMHS Inpatient Activity (external website).

The next release of this publication will be on 1 September 2020.

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

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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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