About this release
This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides an update on how long people waited to start treatment with psychological therapies in NHS Scotland for the quarter ending September 2023. As of June 2022, psychological therapies data is available via an interactive dashboard.
For the quarter ending September 2023:
- 79.4% of people started their treatment within 18 weeks of referral, compared to 78.8% of people for the previous quarter, and 81% of people for the quarter ending September 2022. The Scottish Government standard states that 90% of people should start their treatment within 18 weeks of referral to psychological therapies.
- 50% of the people starting treatment started within 3 weeks of referral.
- 18,301 people started psychological therapies treatment in NHS Boards in the quarter ending September 2023. This is a decrease of 0.8% (149) from the previous quarter and an increase of 0.1% (10) from the quarter ending September 2022.
- 1,386 people aged 65+ years started treatment with psychological therapies in this quarter. 83.3% started their treatment within 18 weeks of referral, an increase from 81.6% in the previous quarter and also an increase from 81.5% for the quarter ending September 2022.
- A total of 42,143 people were referred for psychological therapies (and in some cases further adult mental health services) in Scotland in this quarter (see the Data Quality Document). This compares to 40,003 people referred in the previous quarter and a 10.1% (3,873) increase from the same quarter ending September 2022 (38,270 referrals).
Waiting times information for psychological therapies is still being developed. NHS Boards are working with PHS and the Scottish Government to improve the consistency and completeness of the information.
Psychological therapies refer to a range of interventions, based on psychological concepts and theory, which are designed to help people understand and make changes to their thinking, behaviour and relationships in order to relieve distress and to improve functioning. The standard applies specifically to psychological therapies for treatment of a mental illness or disorder.
Please note NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde submit data based on all referrals to mental health services that deliver psychological therapies, this includes some referrals for which after assessment the patient continued to other mental health services other than psychological therapies and treatments.
The next release of this publication will be 5 March 2024.
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