To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Education Policy Institute’s report Access and Waiting Times in Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services, what steps he plans to take to reduce the variation in waiting times for mental health treatment across the country.
The recent Green Paper, ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’, includes a proposal to trial a four week waiting time for access to specialist National Health Service children and young people’s mental health services. New Mental Health Support Teams, a further announcement in the green paper, will also enable children and young people to access earlier help for emerging problems. Both approaches will be tested using trailblazer areas, operational from 2019, to understand what works.
Two waiting time standards applicable to children and young people’s mental health are already in place; the early intervention in psychosis standard is currently exceeding its target and the children’s eating disorder standard is on track to meet its target by 2020/21.