Mind responds to mental health services data
Figures published today by NHS England demonstrate huge demand on mental health services. The numbers, which cover March 2023, show:
- The number of emergency referrals to crisis teams for young people is the highest in more than four years
- There were more than 300 days spent by under 16-year-olds on adult wards
- Mental Health Act detentions are at their second highest point since 2019.
The data suggests that more adults are experiencing the most serious mental health problems, with rates of sectioning under the Mental Health Act at their highest since before the pandemic. The same is true for under 18s, with emergency referrals to crisis teams for this age group also at a four-year high.
The figures indicate there were more than 300 days when under 16-year-olds were wrongly placed on adult wards. The number of people being sent far from home for treatment is also steadily increasing on average, despite a Government pledge to completely end the practice by 2021.
Responding to the latest NHS performance statistics, Gemma Byrne, Policy & Campaigns Manager at Mind, said:
“Today’s figures are evidence of a system that is on its knees. People with mental health problems, particularly young people, are bearing the brunt of years of under investment. Each one of these statistics represents a person with mental health problems being let down by the system that is meant to care for them.
“The numbers will not surprise anyone working in mental health services, who have had to grow used to huge demand and supporting people with more severe mental health problems.
“Across the board, from community to acute care, the system is struggling to keep pace with a nation in the grips of a mental health crisis. It is high time the UK Government made good on its promise to deliver a reformed Mental Health Bill, which must go hand in hand with investment in early intervention and community care, as well as a statutory public inquiry into failings in mental health inpatient settings. Staff are overwhelmed, patients aren’t getting the care they need, and the system is under resourced - people with mental health problems cannot wait any longer.”