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Health / Meeting psychological therapies waiting target a ‘tremendous achievement’

NHS Shetland has met a monthly psychological therapies waiting target for the first time in “many years”, members of the health board were told on Thursday.

There is a nationally set target to have 90 per cent of completed waits for therapy less than 18 weeks, and NHS Shetland met this in March.

Public health principal Elizabeth Robinson said it was a “very big positive”.

“I think we need to congratulate the psychological therapies team for the work they have done in that area,” she said.

While the figure was 90 per cent in March, it stood at just 33.3 per cent in February and 50 per cent in January.

When it comes to ongoing waits there are still cases that are more than 18 weeks, however.

An update to health board members said additional resources have been sought and a new psychological therapist has started providing input for the longest waits.

But Robinson said the target for completed waits was showing that an improvement plan put in place for psychological therapies was having an effect.

She added that the consultant psychologist is keeping an “eagle eye” on the service.

Board chairman Gary Robinson said meeting the target “really is a tremendous achievement considering where the service has been”.

Meanwhile the child and adolescent mental health services team has recently seen 100 per cent of completed waits come in at less than 18 weeks.