South Scotland

Recruitment to tackle mental health service delays

mental health hospital Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Staff have now been appointed to fill vacancies at the region's mental health service for young people

Mental health services for children and adolescents in the Borders are "well on the way to recovery", according to officials.

Chief officer with the region's health and social care partnership, Rob McCulloch-Graham, said they were "working hard" to cut waiting times.

It comes after figures showed less than half of young people referred were being seen within an 18-week target.

Mr McCulloch-Graham said staffing issues had now been tackled.

"The targets that we haven't been meeting over the last year have been the waiting times for our child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS)," he said.

"It is a small team of professionals and we have had a couple of vacancies that appeared just about 12 months ago.

"It has been particularly difficult for us to recruit to those."

"We have looked to the skill base that we have within the service and we have appointed now so we are well on the way to recovery."

'Major priority'

He said it was a "very important" service for everyone involved and they were working to get back to the "excellent practice" they previously enjoyed.

"We have to prioritise and we have to triage the cases coming in," he said.

"Where we do have a major priority they will be seen straight away that day or at least within the next five days.

"We do prioritise those cases but we are working hard to get back to reduce our waiting times and to have 100% performance which is what we had over a year ago."

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