Responding to a report from Audit Scotland highlighting that Orkney has the second lowest spend on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Scotland, Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur has written to the new Chief Executive of Orkney Health & Care expressing concern and seeking clarification about why Orkney appears to be so far behind
Audit Scotland’s report showed that per 1,000 people under 18 years old, it was estimated that NHS Orkney spent £6,649 on CAMHS in 2016/17 compared to a figure for NHS Shetland of £66,077 and for NHS Western Isles of £60,086.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“While direct comparisons of this type should always be made with caution, such a disparity in spending on CAMHS is impossible to ignore.
“I have therefore written to the CEO of Orkney Health and Care, Sally Shaw highlighting my concerns and seeking clarification about the basis for this apparent gulf in spending on CAMHS across the three island communities. For those who work to deliver these services as well as those who rely upon them, providing that clarity is essential.
“I firmly believe that we must put the treatment of mental ill-health on the same statutory footing as physical ill-health. This would help ensure that, right across the country, mental health services are given the priority they deserve and the resources they need.”
Notes to editors: Find the full Audit Scotland report, titled ‘Children and young people’s mental health’ here.