To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of telephone consultations for assessing patients with mental health problems compared to face to face consultation.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
2 March 2022
No formal assessment has been made. While remote service delivery is effective at meeting the majority of mental health needs, it does not replace the need for face-to-face appointments for a proportion of people whose needs cannot be met by telephone. For all mental health provision, patients should have an informed choice in how their care is delivered.
Since April 2020, the provision of 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent mental health helplines has enabled services to become ‘open access’ and allows patients to self-refer to trained mental health professionals in their local area.