Community mental health services need support to meet demand

18 April 2024

A Care Quality Commission survey says people using community mental health services have poor experiences.

Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive, NHS Providers, said:

"NHS trusts will be very concerned by the regulator's findings and are determined to do everything they can to give people the care they need in the face of record demand.

"Community mental health services, stretched to the limit in the face of soaring demand, must be a national priority, not 'poor relations' of the health system.

"Recent government funding boosts are welcome but follow years of serious underinvestment and aren't enough to keep pace with growing demand and people's often more complex needs.

"Other agencies who support people with mental illness have suffered years of cash and staff shortages too and we need more national focus on and investment in prevention and early intervention.

"It's clear that under-pressure services have more to do to ensure that people get timely, high-quality care and support but to aid trusts' efforts we need broader, cross-government action to address the gap between demand for mental health care and trusts' ability to provide it."