Children across scotland have been waiting at least a collective 1.2 million days extra to be seen by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). At least 18,000 have had their referrals Rejected, new figures obtained from research by the Scottish Labour party have revealed.

What is the target time for accessing services?

As of December 2014, the Scottish government set a maximum wait of 18-weeks for a child's treatment by the NHS in at least 90 percent of cases across Scotland but instead, the children referred have collectively waited at least 285,590 days longer since April 2016 alone and 1.2 million days too long in total.

Which NHS boards met the target and which didn't?

The 18-week waiting time standard was only met by six of Scotland's fourteen NHS boards in the last three months and the health boards of Lothian, Tayside and Grampian actually cut funding on CAMHS by £390,000, £80,000 and £80,000 respectively.

NHS Lothian, which cut funding the most saw just 57 percent of referrals within the 18-week target in the last three months whilst NHS Grampian met just a third of cases and had an average wait time of 21 weeks, according to the response of a freedom of information request made by Dr. Richard Simpson, the former Labour Public Health Spokesman. He is also Honorary Professor of Health Sciences at the University of Stirling.

Comparatively, Glasgow and Clyde saw almost all patients within the target time at 97.8 percent.

How many referrals have been rejected all together?

Meanwhile over 17,843 of these referrals have been rejected altogether. The figure includes 3,423 rejections since March 2017, when the Scottish government promised to conduct an audit of the referrals.

However, Scottish Labour said that there is a lack of clarity on what progress the audit is making, or if it has even started.

Why are there so many rejections?

Despite the massive number of rejections, there is still a lack of understanding of why they are rejected, what happens to the children and young people moving on and what happens to them in the future.

How much does the NHS spend on CAMHS?

The news comes after figures obtained from an answer to a Parliamentary Question last month revealed that only 0.48 percent of the entire NHS budget is spent on CAMHS and only 6.34 percent of the total mental health budget, amounting to approximately £54 million.

How many children and young people in Scotland have mental health issues?

This is despite the fact that roughly 10 percent of children and young people, aged from five to sixteen have a clinically diagnosable mental health issue or roughly three pupils per classroom, according to recent research.

What is the Scottish government's response?

Scottish Mental Health Minister, Maureen Watt said that the government is committed to ensuring that children and young people have access to high-quality mental health services.