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Mental Health Services: Telemedicine

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 540, tabled on 11 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of digital exclusion on the delivery of remote NHS mental health services.

Answered on

21 May 2021

The Department has made no such assessment.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the NHS Confederation and the Association of Mental Health Providers to develop a guide on digital inclusion in mental health which is available at the following link:

https://www.nhsconfed.org/resources/2020/12/digital-inclusion-guide

Local efforts to tackle digital exclusion have been supported by additional capital funding, and the launch of the Attend Anywhere video consultation platform to ensure that staff and service users have the technology they need. NHS England and NHS Improvement have asked integrated care systems to develop digitally-enabled care pathways in ways which increase inclusion, including reviewing new primary, outpatient and mental health digitally-enabled care pathways.

The 2021/22 NHS Operational Planning Guidance, asked health systems to ensure providers offer face-to-face care to patients who cannot use remote services and to ensure more complete data collection on consultation mediums is carried out.