Mental Health Services: Standards

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 22 May 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 February 2023 to Question 142657 on Mental Health Services: Children and Young People, what progress has been made on work to (a) establish the feasibility and associated risks of introducing new mental health waiting time standards for (i) adult's and (ii) children and young people’s community-based mental health services and (b) support the development of a baseline position for waiting times.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

NHS England will publish new core community all-age mental health waiting time metrics from autumn 2024, which will encompass activity data from April 2024. It will cover the percentage of patients receiving meaningful help within four weeks of referral to community mental health services. Once published, NHS England will focus on improving data quality, including ensuring appropriate Systematised Nomenclature of Medicine data is flowed to show when patients are receiving meaningful help. Improved data quality within community mental health services will provide greater insights into the frequency and types of therapeutic provision.

The publication of the new community waiting times metrics is expected to increase transparency and local accountability on waiting times for community mental health services. Furthermore, NHS England expect that publication of the data will improve the quality of the data, so that the Department and NHS England will be in a better position to assess the costs and benefits of introducing performance standards against these metrics.

Systems have also been asked to focus on reducing long waits in community mental health services and to develop local plans to support this, including by improving data quality. We will work with systems to develop an agreed baseline and improvement trajectories for waits over 104 weeks in autumn 2024, as referenced in NHS England’s 2024/25 Operational Planning Guidance.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.