New measures to ensure faster mental health treatment in Wales
The waiting time target for treating people experiencing mental ill health in Wales is being cut from 56 to 28 days to ensure faster access to treatment, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has announced yesterday (Tuesday 3rd November).
The Welsh Government introduced waiting times for assessment and treatment by local primary mental health support services in 2012.
People referred for a mental health assessment should be seen within 28 days. Following assessment, those who need treatment should receive it within 56 days.
The 56-day assessment to treatment target has now changed to become a 28-day target to ensure people have timely access to treatment. The previous combined waiting time was 12 weeks.
All health boards will be expected to show progress towards meeting this new target by the end of the financial year.
Waiting times for mental health assessment and treatment in Wales are already more stringent than those in England. In April 2015, NHS England introduced a target that 75% of adults should expect treatment within six weeks and 95% within 18 weeks.
Announcing the changes, Professor Drakeford said:
“One in four people in Wales will, at some point in their lives, experience mental ill health. That’s why mental health is one of the Welsh Government’s main priorities.
“Since 2011, we have made significant progress in improving the services, care and support available for people experiencing mental ill health in Wales with the introduction of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010.
“This announcement will help ensure timely access to treatment, ensuring people who need expert care and support receive the right services in the right place at the right time. Some organisations are already meeting or are close to meeting this new target. I expect other health boards to make progress towards meeting this tighter target by the end of March.”
Mental health funding in Wales has been ring-fenced since 2008-09 to protect and enhance core services; the ring-fence was expanded in 2010-11 to include specialist services and primary care spending.
This year, the budget for mental health services in Wales is £587m, up from £389m in 2009-10. This equates to 11.4% of the total Welsh NHS budget – the single biggest area of expenditure.
In addition, earlier this year Professor Drakeford announced an extra £15.6m will be invested every year in mental health services in Wales, taking the total investment to more than £600m. This will help make further improvements in a number of key areas, including child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and dementia care.
Latest News from
Covid hubs in North Wales offering support to the hardest hit11/06/2021 14:05:00
Hubs offering holistic support to people who need to self-isolate and to those hit hardest by the pandemic are being rolled out in a pilot scheme across five areas in North Wales.
Major funding boost to support personalised learner support11/06/2021 09:05:00
The Welsh Government will provide £33 million to support learners in colleges and sixth forms across Wales, as part of the £150 million it has committed to the education response to COVID-19.
54,000 people in Wales helped into work thanks to Working Wales10/06/2021 14:05:00
More than 54,000 people across Wales have been supported to improve their career prospects and get into work in the first two years of Working Wales, Welsh Government’s employability service, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething announced today.
New £3m respite fund launched to give unpaid carers a well-earned break08/06/2021 09:05:00
A new £3m fund is being set up to provide respite and short breaks for Wales’ small army of unpaid carers, Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan yesterday announced.
“No-one left behind” as Wales’ incredible vaccine programme moves forward07/06/2021 14:05:00
All over-18s will be offered a Covid vaccine by the start of next week, as First Minister Mark Drakeford praised the people behind Wales’ world-leading vaccination programme.
CMO advice for 3 June regulatory review of the Coronavirus Regulations07/06/2021 10:20:00
Advice presented to First Minister on regulatory review of the Coronavirus Regulations.
First Minister confirms phased move to alert level one04/06/2021 12:15:00
Up to 30 people will be able to meet outdoors and large outdoor activities will be able to take place from Monday, as Wales moves into alert level one, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today (Friday June 4).
Recovery must be secured as a partnership of equals04/06/2021 12:10:00
UK Government must act on Scottish Government concerns.
Portugal moves to amber on international travel traffic-light list04/06/2021 11:15:00
Travellers returning to Wales from Portugal will need to self-isolate on their return after the Welsh Government confirmed the popular holiday destination will be moving to the amber list from 04:00hrs on Tuesday 8 June.