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Mental Health Services: Young People

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 35740, tabled on 19 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of existing (a) service provision and (b) capacity to meet the mental health needs of young people.

Answered on

17 August 2021

The Care Quality Commission makes an annual assessment of health and care services in England and publishes its findings through the State of Care report. The most recent ‘The state of health care and adult social care in England 2019/20’ finds that 71% of National Health Services (NHS) mental health core services were rated as good and 11% as outstanding. The report does not provide a breakdown for services for children and young people, or young people specifically.

On capacity, the NHS Digital publishes quarterly data through the NHS Mental Health Dashboard. It includes the proportion of children and young people who have had at least two contacts with NHS-funded community mental health services, based on estimated prevalence available in 2016, namely the Office for National Statistics report Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain, 2004. In 2019/20, 36.9% of children and young people with a diagnoseable mental health condition had at least two contacts with such services. This exceeds the aims of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health to increase access for children and young people from 25% to at least 35% of expected prevalence by 2020/21.

We know that the pandemic has had an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many children and young people. This is why we are investing an additional £500 million in 2021/22 to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need, and invest in the NHS workforce. As part of this investment, we have committed to accelerate key commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan. We continue to work with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement to understand the impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health, including commissioning regular surveys via NHS Digital to monitor this over the course of the pandemic.