Mental Illness

Health written question – answered on 11th June 2014.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what estimate he has made of the number of people with mental health problems in each of the last five years;

(2) if he will take steps to make the treatment of mental health a priority within the NHS.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

We have not estimated the number of people with mental health problems in each of the last five years. The Department has commissioned the National Centre for Social Research and the University of Leicester to undertake the 2014 Adult Psychological Morbidity Survey. We are also actively developing plans for a new prevalence survey for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. The following tables show the number of people in contact with national health service secondary mental health services for the last five years and referrals to NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Services in 2012-13:

Table 1: People using NHS funded adult and elderly secondary mental health services, 2008-09 to 2012-13
  2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
England total 1,222,536 1,270,731 1,287,730 1,607,153 1,590,332
Note: Significant changes to local systems and the way Mental Health Minimum Data Set is processed between 2010-11 and 2011-12 (to implement changes to the dataset and the implementation of MHMDS version 4) and the edition of data from Independent Service Providers for the first time that figures for these years are not comparable. Source: Mental Health Bulletin, Annual Report from MHMDS Returns, England-2012-13
Table 2: Referrals to NHS funded Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Services1 2012-13
  Referrals Received Entering Treatment2
England 883,968 434,247
1 As this is the first year of reporting from the IAPT dataset, only those referrals received in the year are included. Referrals that predate this point are not included in the figures. 2 In order to enter treatment a referral must have a first treatment appointment (an appointment with a therapy type recorded) in the year. Source: Psychological Therapies, Annual Report on the Use of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Services 2012-13. Health and Social Care Information Centre, Community and Mental Health Team.

Mental Health has been a priority for this Government for several years now. We made this commitment explicit in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which, for the first time, creates equal status for mental and physical health across Government and for the NHS and social care.

The Ministerial Advisory Group brings together individuals and organisations with a specific interest in the cross government mental health strategy, No Health Without Mental Health, and how it is delivered.

The Mandate to NHS England 2014-15 makes clear that “everyone who needs it should have timely access to evidence-based services”. This will involve extending and ensuring more open access to programmes, in particular for children and young people, and for those out of work.

Closing the Gap, our new mental health action plan, which has attracted widespread, cross-sector support, sets out our priorities for essential change in mental health, 25 areas where people can expect to see and experience the fastest changes. The document challenges the health and social care community to move further and faster to transform care and support; the public health community, alongside local government, to give health and wellbeing promotion and prevention the long-overdue attention it needs and deserves; and individuals and communities to shift attitudes in mental health.

The Department is leading an information revolution around mental health. The new national Mental Health Intelligence Network will draw together comprehensive information about mental health and wellbeing.

The new Crisis Care Concordat, signed by more than 20 national organisations, is a commitment for all agencies involved in supporting someone in a crisis to work together to improve the system of care and support so people in crisis are kept safe and helped to find the support they need. All the signatories have pledged to work together and our expectation is that, in every locality in England, local partnerships of health, criminal justice and local authority agencies will agree and commit to local Mental Health Crisis Declarations.

System partners are also taking responsibility for the drive for parity. Public Health England (PHE) has made a commitment to addressing parity of esteem through prioritising mental health and working to embed it throughout all PHE programmes. Greater attention is needed to mental health throughout the public health system and PHE seeks to enable and support this through its leadership and delivery of a Wellbeing and Mental Health programme. It is supporting local authorities and other partners to give greater attention to mental health within the public health system.

Health Education England is developing training programmes that will enable all healthcare employers to ensure that their staff have a greater awareness of mental health problems and how they may affect their patients. This will include understanding the links between patient’s physical and mental health, so that staff know what actions they can take to ensure that patients receive appropriate support for both their mental and physical health care needs.

The Department has no plans to repeat the child and adolescent national psychiatric morbidity survey, but is looking at other ways to investigate the prevalence of mental health problems in children and young people.

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