Skip to main content

Mental Health Services: Children and Young People

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 125663, tabled on 30 January 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) improve access to and (b) reduce waiting times for, mental health facilities for children and adolescents.

Answered on

7 February 2018

As set out in Future in Mind, the Government is making available £1.4 billion to 2020/21 to improve access to mental health services for children and young people and to treat 70,000 extra children a year by 2020. The National Health Service is meeting the current waiting times standards relevant to children and young people. Latest information published on 31 January 2018 as part of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View Dashboard reports the following:

For early intervention in psychosis (all ages): 50% of people experiencing first episode psychosis should commence a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)-recommended package of care within two weeks of referral. In Q1-2 2017-18 - 72.3% of patients started treatment within two weeks (Q1-Q2 2017/18).

For eating disorders (for those up to 19 years): by 2020/21, 95% of children and young people experiencing an eating disorder urgent case should commence a NICE-recommended package of care within one week of referral. In Q1-2 2017/18 - 72.1% of urgent cases of children with eating disorders received treatment within one week and 80.6% of routine cases of children with eating disorders received treatment within four weeks.

The joint health and education Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper published in December 2017, includes proposals for the trialling of a four week waiting time standard for NHS specialist children and young people’s mental health services. The Government will make over £300 million available, following public consultation, to set up these waiting times pilots, Mental Health Support Teams and the provision of mental health first aid in primary schools.