Mental Health Services: Disadvantaged

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to ensure equity of access to mental health treatment.

Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on achieving parity of esteem for mental and physical health.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are making good progress on putting mental health services on an equal footing as those for physical health.

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, published in 2016, made a set of recommendations for the National Health Service to achieve the ambition of parity of esteem between mental and physical health for children, young people, adults and older people. We continue to work with the NHS to deliver on these recommendations with the majority expected to be met by 2020/21.

Investment in mental health services continues to rise. Total mental health spend in 2018/19 was £12.5 billion, up from £9.15 billion in 2015/16. The mental health investment standard requires clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to increase the amount spent on mental health by at least as much as their overall budget. In 2018/19, all CCGs achieved this level of investment.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed at least a further £2.3 billion a year to mental health services by 2023/24. This ring-fenced investment will continue the transformation and expansion of services for people with mental health conditions, building on our current targets. For the first time, children and young people’s mental health services will grow as a proportion of all mental health services, which will themselves also be growing faster than the NHS overall.

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