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 2021.

NHS boards made changes to their service delivery in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.

An update of referrals data from the Child, Adolescent, and Psychological Therapies National Dataset (CAPTND) has been published as an appendix to the main report.

Main points

For the quarter ending September 2021:

  • 3,792 children and young people started treatment at CAMHS in Scotland. This is a decrease of 16.7% from the 4,552 starting treatment from the previous quarter, and a decrease of 6.0% from the 4,032 starting treatment in the same quarter the previous year.
  • Almost eight out of ten (78.6%) of children and young people were seen within 18 weeks, which is an increase from 72.6% for the previous quarter, and also from 60.6% for the quarter ending September 2020. The Scottish Government standard states that 90% of children and young people should start treatment within 18 weeks of referral to CAMHS.
  • One in two of the children and young people seen started their treatment within an average of 7 weeks, which is the same as the previous quarter, and also the same as quarter ending September 2020.
Image caption Percentage of patients who started treatment in CAMHS within 18 weeks of referral, by quarter for March 2017 to September 2021, NHS Scotland
  • Across Scotland, over one in seven patients (15.0%) referred to CAMHS did not attend their first appointment. This is an increase from the previous quarter of 14.1% and also from the same quarter ending September 2020, where 14.8% did not attend their first appointment.
  • 7,882 children and young people were referred to CAMHS in Scotland for quarter ending September 2021. This compares to 10,193 for the previous quarter, and 7,455 for the quarter ending September 2020.
Image caption Total number of Referrals by quarter, NHS Scotland for March 2017 to September 2021

Further information

The PHS Public Mental Health team has opened a consultation on the presentation of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Psychological Therapies (PT) data in our quarterly releases, and you are invited to participate. To submit your comments, please visit the survey online (external website). This consultation will close at 17:00 on 24 December.

The next release of this publication will be 1 March 2022.

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: 13 June 2022
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