Top of page.

East Midlands Liberal Democrats

We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off

Roundtable talks on new mental health waiting time standards

October 25, 2014 4:42 PM
In Liberal Democrat Voice

On Friday Nick Clegg and Norman Lamb held roundtable talks on mental health services in Sheffield.

Representatives from the local NHS discussed the impact of mental health conditions being brought into line with other NHS services, with the introduction of the first ever waiting time standards.

For the first time, from April 2015, most patients needing talking therapies - for conditions like depression - will be guaranteed the treatment they need in as little as six weeks, with a maximum wait of 18 weeks.

For many patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis, the NHS will start to provide treatment within two weeks of referral - bringing it into line with consultations for cancer. Evidence shows that treating psychosis rapidly can dramatically improve patients' chances of recovery and potentially save £44 million each year in hospital admissions.

Nick Clegg pointing

Nick Clegg said:

"I'm delighted to welcome Norman to Sheffield to talk about how our plans will improve local mental health services.

"At least one in four of us will experience a mental health problem in our lives. It's wrong that relatives and friends needing a hip operation can expect treatment within a clear timeframe but someone with a debilitating mental health condition has no clarity about when they will get help.

"For years, NHS waiting standards have existed for patients with physical ailments and they have drastically cut long waits. Now we are finally ending the injustice of people with mental health conditions waiting far too long for treatment with the first ever waiting time standards for NHS mental health services."

Norman Lamb said:

"Our announcement is part of a radical five-year plan to end years of imbalance between mental and physical healthcare services, backed by £40 million this year and £80 million freed up next year.

"Liberal Democrats want to build a fairer society and that means mental health has got to be a priority for everyone. We are absolutely determined to make sure anyone with a mental health condition can expect the same standards of care as they would for a physical health problem.

"We are urging the whole health and care system to engage with these ambitious plans to drive up standards so that, by 2020, mental and physical health services will be given equal priority in all parts of the country."