One in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year. People in all walks of life can be affected and at any point in their lives. Mental health problems represent the largest single cause of disability in the UK.

The NHS is placing more national focus than ever before on mental health. NHS England aims to deliver a transformation in mental health services by 2020/21, with an ambition of putting mental health on an equal footing to physical health in the NHS.

NHS England is making progress towards achieving the recommendations set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, involving the development and implementation of new models of care for adults with mental health needs. 

Our key commitments include:

  • Developing pathways for mental health: as set out inImplementing the Five Year Forward View For Mental Health, to improve timely access to services delivered in line with NICE recommendations. A comprehensive set of pathways will be introduced over the next five years.  The first to have been published, are:
  • Perinatal mental health: NHS England is transforming services so that more women experiencing mental ill health during or after pregnancy have access to the right care. This five-year transformation programme is backed by £365m extra investment.
  • Community-based adult mental health services: working with partners to improve access to high-quality, evidence-based care which considers people’s physical and mental health needs and wellbeing, reducing premature mortality among people with severe mental illness and doubling the reach of Individual Placement and Support (IPS).
  • Urgent and emergency mental health careas a signatory to the Crisis Care Concordat, NHS England began a major programme on crisis care, with the aim of ensuring 24/7 access to the right services for people experiencing mental health crisis. This includes £249m investment in urgent and emergency mental health liaison in acute hospitals, and investment in community crisis response (see below).
  • Acute mental health care: NHS England is aiming to improve the commissioning and provision of acute care for adults. This includes £400m investment in Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams so that they are able to offer an alternative to inpatient hospital care, and to support our headline ambition to eliminate the practice of sending people long distances for non-specialist acute care by 2020/21.
  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) : This programme, which began in 2008, has transformed the treatment of adult common mental health disorders in England. NHS England is expanding it further:
    • To increase access by 2020/21 so that at least 25 per cent of people with common mental health conditions access services each year and to sustain and improve the quality of care, including recovery rates. A focus will be on co-locating services within primary and community health care so that treatment can be more convenient, timely and consider both their physical and mental health needs.
    • To increase access to psychological therapies for people with psychosis, bipolar disorder, and personality disorder.
  • Secure care: to improve pathways in and out of secure care, with a focus on developing community-based services to ensure people with severe mental health problems  are cared for in the least restrictive setting, as close to home as possible.


Annual Survey of Liaison Psychiatry in Englands

The annual Survey of Liaison Psychiatry in England maps staffing composition and care provision across liaison mental health teams in acute hospital emergency departments. The fourth survey shows a positive, year-on-year increase in liaison mental health coverage, with 33% of services now operating at the ‘Core 24’ service level. This exceeds the Mental Health Five Year Forward View trajectory of 20% for 2019, placing the national expansion on track to deliver the ambition that at least 50% of liaison mental health services meet the Core 24 service standard as a minimum by 2020/21.

Disruptive and Collaborative Innovations from the Academic Health Science Networks

This collection of case studies from the AHSNs focuses on innovative collaborations in mental health – highly relevant reading in relation to the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.