Friday 18th August 2023
This week, the Government gave an update on the Major Conditions Strategy. This included a pledge from NHS England to publish waiting times statistics for Urgent and Emergency mental health care by the end of September 2023, and for community mental health care by the end of March 2024.
This is a promising first step towards implementing the proposed new mental health access and waiting time standards, which will include waiting time targets for mental health care, but more needs to be done.
Beat’s Director of External Affairs Tom Quinn said:
‘This is a great step to improve transparency around the numbers of adults needing mental health treatment, but the NHS must ensure that all commitments around waiting times are robust. The data must show us specifically how long adults with eating disorders are having to wait to start evidence-based treatment.
‘While we welcome the Government’s update, we’re disappointed that the Major Conditions Strategy will not be published until 2024. After the 10-year Mental Health and Wellbeing plan for England was scrapped earlier this year, there seems to be a lack of urgency in developing long-term strategies around how to improve mental health care which is very worrying. Eating disorder services have been in crisis for several years now and we need urgent action from the Government to address this.
‘We hope that a commitment to fully fund the long-awaited access and waiting times standards will be forthcoming as a matter of urgency.’