NHS Mental Health Dashboard

The NHS Mental Health Dashboard (formerly the Mental Health Five Year Forward View Dashboard) brings together key data from across mental health services to measure the performance of the NHS in delivering our Long Term Plan for mental health.

The NHS Long Term Plan is a solid foundation to deliver mental health services in the context of COVID-19. It will expand capacity and improve quality of effective mental health services and is tackling a treatment gap that is all the more important to address during the pandemic.

This dashboard provides the greatest transparency ever in assessing how NHS mental health services are performing, alongside technical details explaining how mental health services are funded and delivered.

The most recent version of the dashboard includes the latest data available up to and including Quarter 2 of the 2020/21 financial year.

Mental health services funding and investment

The NHS’s Long Term Plan reaffirms our commitment to putting mental health care on a level footing with physical health services.

To support the ambitions within the Plan the NHS has made a renewed commitment that funding for mental health services will grow faster than the overall NHS budget, creating a new ringfenced local investment fund worth at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24.

In consecutive years the NHS in England has met its commitment that the increase in local funding for mental health (excluding learning disabilities and dementia) is at least in line with the overall increase in the money available to CCGs. This is called the Mental Health Investment Standard (MHIS). From 2019/20 onwards, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the MHIS also includes a further commitment that local funding for mental health will grow by an additional percentage increment to reflect additional mental health funding being made available to CCGs.

Since it was introduced in 2015/16 the MHIS has been met nationally.

The latest data shows that:

  • The Mental Health Investment Standard is on track to be met nationally and regionally in 2020/21.
  •  99% of CCGs (133 out of 135 CCGS) are on track to meet the Mental Health Investment Standard in 2020/21.
  • The consistent increases in mental health spend (including learning disabilities and dementia) means it’s now due to make up 14.4% of local health spend in 2020/21, compared with 14.0% in 2019/20 and 13.1% back in 2015/16.

For 2018/19 spend, CCGs were required to have their reported spend on mental health externally validated with regards to meeting the MHIS. CCGs have published their review compliance statement and reporting accountants’ report on their website. Any shortfall in spend that was identified as part of the review has been added to the 2019/20 calculation and subsequently spent by all CCGs that met the MHIS in 2019/20. Issues with governance and assurance that were identified through the review process have been addressed by NHS England & Improvement’s Mental Health and Finance, regional and CCG leadership teams. CCGs will again be subject to independent review of their achievement of the Mental Health Investment Standard in 2019/20, and we expect the results of this review to be published in spring of 2021.

Additionally, some mental health services are paid for with funding delivered at the national level. When spend on specialised commissioning services is added to local CCG mental health spending, the total mental health funding (including learning disabilities and dementia) has increased from £11.0 billion in 2015/16 to a planned £14.0 billion in 2020/21.

The NHS Long Term Plan commitment that spending on children and young people’s mental health services will increase faster than overall spending on mental health has also been met.

Mental health support

Investment in the Mental Health Five Year Forward View and Long Term Plan will deliver timely, high quality mental health support, including by 2023/24:

  • Expanding access to talking therapies so that an additional 380,000 people per year get support for common disorders.
  • Continued investment to expand specialist community perinatal mental health services for mothers who need specialist support during and following pregnancy so that by 2023/24 66,000 women per year will be able to access evidence-based care closer to home when they need it.
  • Expanding services and work with schools and colleges so that an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 will be able to access comprehensive support per year.
  • All children and young people experiencing crisis will be able to access crisis care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The NHS will provide a single-point of access and timely, age-appropriate, universal mental health crisis care for everyone, accessible via NHS 111.
  • People with moderate to severe mental illnesses will access better quality care across primary and community teams, have greater choice and control over the care they receive, and be supported to lead fulfilling lives in their communities.

Evaluating progress

The Dashboard allows NHS England and NHS Improvement to track the delivery of its national ambitions for mental health. Great progress has been made since the publication of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health and the Long Term Plan. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health services have remained open and continued to deliver against our commitments set out in the Long Term Plan:

  • Every general acute hospital with a consultant-led 24-hour A&E department has a liaison mental health service, with 35% of liaison mental health teams operating at the Core 24 service level in 2018/19. 78% of teams operate 24/7 (as of December 2019), compared to 39% in 2016.
  •  The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health committed the NHS to ensuring that an additional 70,000 children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition access treatment per year by March 2020/21, equating to approximately 35% of need based on the 2004 ONS prevalence survey. The data shows that this ambition has been exceeded a year early with an access rate of 36.8% nationally in 2019/20 (using two contacts as a proxy for treatment). More recent prevalence estimates were published by NHS Digital, NatCen, and ONS in November 2018 which showed a marginal increase in prevalence. Against the data published in 2018, the access rate would equate to 34.7% of estimated need, which still exceeds the 34% indicative national trajectory for 2019/20.
  • In quarter two of 2020/21 85.3% children and young people with an eating disorder are receiving treatment within one week in urgent cases and 89.6% within four weeks for non-urgent cases. Both of these waiting time measures have improved from around 65% in the first quarter of 2016/17.
  • Since April 2019, there has been a specialist community perinatal mental health service in every STP or ICS area of England. Over 30,000 women accessed specialist evidence-based care during 2019/20, just shy of the 32,000 national ambition. This was the first year of services reporting to the Mental Health Services Data Set. As a result, data quality issues experienced in some areas negatively impacted the access numbers reported to the MHSDS. In 2020/21, specialist perinatal mental health services have seen increased numbers of women compared to 2019/20, in spite of the impact of the pandemic. However, access is below the planned growth trajectory. Services are being supported to recover this trajectory as soon as possible, in order to meet national LTP ambitions by 2023/24.
  • As part of ’the world’s most ambitious’ talking therapy programme (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) 86.6% started treatment in less than six weeks and, whilst recovery dropped to 49.6% in quarter one of 2020/21, it had recovered above the 50% standard in the final month of the quarter. The IAPT access data could not be updated for quarter 2 2020/21 due to several metrics changing following the transition to IAPT dataset version 2. The monthly data for all key IAPT metrics continues to be published by NHS Digital, without interruption to the time series. Quarterly reporting on activity will resume for quarter 3 2020/21 onwards.

Progress against other ambitions and delivery of mental health programmes that are measured outside of the Dashboard are published elsewhere.

Impact of COVID-19 and future publications

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in every part of the NHS redirecting staff and resources to support the immediate response to the outbreak.
  • In particular, reporting and data collection asks have been reviewed and reprioritised, which is and will continue to impact on the data and financial reporting from Q4 2019/20 onwards.

NHS Mental Health Dashboard