Mental Health Services: Young People

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidelines his Department has put in place for local authorities and health trusts on target waiting times for young people with severe mental health issues before they are (a) assessed and (b) offerered appropriate treatment.

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

The Department has introduced two waiting time standards for children and young people and are on track to meet both of these standards. The first aims for 95% of children (up to 19 years old) with eating disorders to receive treatment within a week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases.

81.3% of children and young people’s eating disorder patients started urgent treatment within one week and 80.2% of patients started routine treatment within four weeks in April to June 2018. The second aims for 50% of patients of all ages experiencing a first episode of psychosis to receive treatment within two weeks of referral. Nationally, the National Health Service is exceeding the target, with 76.2% of patients started treatment within two weeks in November 2018.

NHS England publishes guidance for commissioners on waiting times standards for eating disorders and early intervention in psychosis, respectively, available at the following links:

As set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England will test approaches that could feasibly deliver four week waiting times for access to NHS support, ahead of introducing new national waiting time standards for all children and young people who need specialist mental health services.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provide national guidance for recognising and managing psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people, which aims to improve early recognition of psychosis and schizophrenia so that children and young people can be offered the treatment and care they need to live with the condition. This guidance can be found at the following link:

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