Mental Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 5 November 2018.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Labour, Ilford North

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce waiting times for patients in need of mental health treatment.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health is at the heart of Government plans to transform mental health services and a key part of this is ensuring a reduction in waiting times for key services.

Following publication of the Five Year Forward View, the Government agreed the following waiting times and access targets with NHS England to be achieved by 2020/21:

- For accessing ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ services 75% of referrals should be seen within six weeks and 95% should be seen within 18 weeks;

- For eating disorder services 95% of referrals should be seen within four weeks for routine cases and 95% of urgent referrals should be seen within one week; and

- For the Early Intervention in Psychosis programme 50% of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis should start a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended package of care within two weeks of referral, rising to 60%.

We are on track to meet these targets, which are tracked on the Five Year Forward View dashboard. The Five Year Forward View can be accessed at the following link:

The dashboard can be accessed at the following link:

The Government announced its long term financial settlement for the National Health Service in June. This will represent an increase of £20.5 billion by 2023/24. The Government has asked NHS England to develop a long term plan by the end of the year.

The 2018 Budget set out some of aspects of what the long term plan will contain, and further details will follow when the plan is published in due course.

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