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Mental Health Services: Telemedicine

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 539, tabled on 11 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of moving more NHS mental health services to (a) telephones and (b) online.

Answered on

18 May 2021

Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we have set out specific objectives for the digitisation of mental health services by 2023/24. This includes digital options for accessing care, including online referrals, digital consultations and digitally enabled models of therapy to support access to psychological therapies in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme.

The digitisation of services enables people to have more control over their own appointments, have greater choice over their treatment as well as manage their own mental health in between appointments. The shift to delivering greater care online and by phone has created new opportunities to provide care more flexibly and reduce barriers to access for some people. Although some services will see the benefit of continuing to use remote consultations in the future, we recognise that many people will still prefer or require face-to-face appointments.