Response to Labour Party analysis on patients waiting in A&E while in a mental health crisis

21 April 2023

Responding to data from the Labour Party on the estimated time patients waited in A&E for mental health treatment in 2021/22, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"These figures lay bare the huge pressure across emergency and mental health services.

"Longstanding workforce shortages across the NHS, soaring demand for mental healthcare and major strains on physical capacity within emergency departments means far too often, too many people, including children and young people, are waiting far too long for mental health treatment.

"Trusts are doing everything they can to meet growing demand for mental health care, including for crisis services, but they are under severe strain. Ongoing strike action, which has led to thousands of mental health appointments being rescheduled is adding to this pressure, but is not the fundamental cause.

"Trusts need government commitment and support to be able to deliver the level of care that people with mental health conditions need, when they need it and in fit for purpose modern facilities. This includes long-term, sustainable investment and support for crisis and community mental health services, and long-overdue investment in the mental health workforce that is essential to delivering high quality care and improving access.

"We also need more support for public health and social care services given the crucial role they play in supporting people and helping to prevent mental ill health and deterioration."