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CAMHS referral waiting times in Wales improved by 13% in a month

Practice digital front doors are not exclusionary, says PCN leader

The proportion of children waiting more than four weeks to be seen by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Wales has decreased by 13 percentage points.

According to figures on NHS performance in Wales, around half of patients (49%) waited more than four weeks for a first outpatient appointment in August (269 out of 546 patients) compared with 36% in September (198 out of 544 patients).

The data counts for all health boards in Wales, apart from Betsi Cadwaladr University health board, which had its figures excluded.

However, despite the impovement, the health boards are still not meeting the Welsh Governement’s target for 80% of children requiring routine assessments to be seen by CAMHS within 28 days of referral. 

Meanwhile, in scheduled care, there were 467,171 patients waiting to start treatment by the end of September, which the Government said was due to ‘ongoing pressure’ around doctors’ tax and pension issues.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: ‘Last month was the busiest October on record for emergency departments in Wales and the ambulance service had the busiest month ever for the most serious “red” calls, which have increased by 35% since October 2015.

They added: ‘The ongoing pressures and uncertainty around HMRC tax and pension issues [for doctors] are also impacting on waiting times for scheduled care.’

In its recent election pledge, the Labour party promised £845m for child mental health services.


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