MSP Claire Baker has called for immediate action to tackle child and adolescent mental health after she claimed latest figures show that NHS Fife is still failing to meet the 18-week standard set.

Last midweek the Scottish Government announced a substantial sum of extra money is to be plied into extra services nationally to tackle the issue.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP said that figures published by ISD Scotland show that only 70.2% of patients were seen within 18 weeks in the past quarter. Whilst this is up from the 67.7% of patients seen in the quarter previous, it is down on this time last year when 74.8% where seen within that time. All quarters fall below the 18-week standard which is set at 90%.

393 children and young people were seen in Fife for the past quarter, the joint highest number in the past year.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP has raised concerns over the number of people failing to be seen within the 18-week period and called for the Scottish Government to step up and ensure NHS Fife has the resources available to meet the 18-week standard.

Across Scotland only three health boards met the target – NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Shetland, and NHS Western Isles.

Commenting, Claire Baker said: “These figures serve as a wake-up call for the Scottish Government and NHS Fife.

"Once again Fife and Scotland as a whole fail to meet the 18-week standard set and it is our children and young people who are suffering. This is unacceptable.

“Whilst figures are up on the last quarter, they are down on this time last year and all quarters are significantly below the 90% standard.

“I am regularly contacted by constituents concerned by their, or their child’s, long waiting times and we need to see action taken to ensure all patients are seen within 18 weeks".

Added Ms Baker: “We need to remember that those that come forward seeking treatment will have been dealing with this illness for a sustained period beforehand.

"The last thing that they will want to feel is ignored and parked on a waiting list when they come forward for help.

“This is a significant point of a child’s and young person’s life and owe it to them to let them know that help and support is available.

“The time for warm words and promises are over, these latest figures show the need for urgent and immediate action. After 12 years in Government, the SNP now claim to prioritise mental health. We need to see their promised school counsellors, which Labour campaigned for, appointed as soon as possible and the fast tracking of young people to specialist services introduced if we are not to fail a generation.”