NHS Providers responds to DHSC announcement on mental health services

23 January 2023

Responding to an announcement by the Department of Health and Social Care on £150m investment in mental health urgent and emergency care services, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"Mental health services are doing all they can to provide the best possible care in the face of ever-growing demand. But they, just like other areas of care, are under severe strain as demand including for urgent and emergency mental health care continues to outstrip capacity and people's needs become more serious and more complex, partly as a result of the pandemic and the mounting cost of living crisis.

"There are almost 1.8 million people on mental health waiting lists and with a further 1,700 mental health appointments rescheduled because of the latest round of industrial action and more expected as strikes escalate pressures on mental health services are set to escalate further in the coming months.

"This funding, which was announced in the 2021 spending review, will play a part in helping trust leaders support people with mental health conditions, when they need it, and in the most appropriate setting.

"But what mental health services really need to see is wider support and investment that addresses crucial structural challenges and recognises the drivers behind growing demand for mental health services. This includes greater investment in and reform of social care.

"In particular, more capital investment is desperately needed to provide a more therapeutic, safe and appropriate environment for people with acute mental health needs alongside urgent action to support overstretched NHS services face, which face severe workforce shortages."