To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will write to clinical commissioning groups to ask them to improve access to mental health support in primary care.
NHS England has a key role to ensure that clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) deliver the best possible services and outcomes for patients within their financial allocation. In March 2016, NHS England introduced the Improvement and Assessment Framework for CCGs (CCG IAF), which sets out that CCGs will be assessed against health outcomes and care quality.
In the GP Forward View, we committed to investment in an extra 3,000 mental health therapists to work in primary care by 2020, which is an average of a full-time therapist for every 2-3 typical sized general practitioner (GP) practices.
CCGs are responsible for planning and commissioning services which meet the needs of the local population. CCGs commission most secondary care services including mental health services and play a part in the commissioning of GP services.
The Mental Health Investment Standard means that CCGs are required to increase their mental health expenditure year on year by more than their overall allocation growth. The Mental Health Investment Standard is being introduced into planning guidance from 2018/19 so all CCGs will have to meet it.
The Mental Health Five Year Forward View Dashboard is available online and provides detailed breakdowns on spend, including by individual CCG, for the past two financial years. 85% of CCGs increased their mental health expenditure in excess of the overall growth in their allocation in 2016/17. The NHS is reporting a planned expenditure of £11.86 billion on mental health for 2017/18.