Midlothian’s mental health waiting list for young people is ‘large’

The waiting list for children and young people accessing mental health services is “large” in Midlothian, the county’s chief officer for children’s services has said.
Midlothian Council's head of children's services, Joan TranentMidlothian Council's head of children's services, Joan Tranent
Midlothian Council's head of children's services, Joan Tranent

Concerns about access to help for children suffering from trauma were raised during an inspection of the local authority’s integrated children’s services shortly before lockdown.

The inspection report found the services were operating at a ‘good’ standard across its key target areas.

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However, it flagged up concern over access to services, stating: “While children and young people in need of care and protection were helped by a range of purposeful interventions, access to the specialist services required to help them recover from trauma was not always available at the time they needed it.”

Midlothian South councillor Jim Muirhead (Labour)Midlothian South councillor Jim Muirhead (Labour)
Midlothian South councillor Jim Muirhead (Labour)

During a virtual council meeting of the council’s cabinet, Joan Tranent, chief officer for the services, said the criticism came because of issues accessing the NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

She said: “NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is working on this, the waiting list is large.”

Ms Tranent said work was being done to introduce early interventions to help children and young people before there was a need to refer them to CAMHS to reduce waiting lists.

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The Care Inspectorate report on Midlothian’s children’s services said it was “very confident” it had the capacity to continue to improve and to address the areas identified for improvement.

It said there was “evidence of strong partnership working at all levels and a confident and competent workforce committed to improving outcomes and experiences for children, young people and families”.

The report was welcomed by cabinet, with Councillor Jim Muirhead adding: “I am pleased we were able to achieve good ratings across the board.”