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 1 of the 2021/22 financial year.

Mental health services funding and investment

The NHS 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 Long term 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 MHIS is on track to be met nationally and regionally in 2021/22, and 100% of CCGs (106 in total) planning to meet the MHIS.
  • 14.8% of local health spend is due to continue being allocated to Mental health (including learning disabilities and dementia) in 2021/22, the same as in 2020/21, and up from 14.0% in 2019/20 and 13.1% back in 2015/16.

For 2018/19 and 2019/20, CCGs were required to have their reported spend on mental health externally validated with regards to meeting the MHIS. CCGs have now published their review compliance statement and reporting accountants’ report on their website for both years. Issues with governance and assurance that were identified through the review process are being addressed by NHS England and 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 2021/22 following the focus on the pandemic response in 2020/21.

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 £14.31 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 so that 66,000 new and expectant mothers with moderate to severe or complex perinatal mental health needs access evidenced based care closer to home when they need it.
  • Expanding services to ensure that at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 will be able to access support via NHS funded mental health services and school or college-based mental health support teams.
  • All children and young people experiencing a mental health crisis will be able to access crisis care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including through NHS 111.
  • 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:

  • In the previous national survey of adult crisis teams in 2018, fewer than 50% were 24/7, open access or had home treatment teams staffed to offer a genuine alternative to admission. There has been significant progress since that time, with now close to 100% of teams operating 24/7 and open to the public (all ages), with 85% staffed to offer ‘fidelity’ to the home treatment team model. Further, anyone (of any age) can now find their local 24/7 NHS urgent mental health helpline number at nhs.uk/urgentmentalhealth through a new service finder.
  • 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 next national survey of liaison psychiatry will be carried out later this year to help us understand what further progress has been made since then.
  • From April 2021, a new headline metric has been introduced to monitor how many 0-18s receive at least 1 contact from an NHS funded service, to support the NHS Long Term Plan Children and Young People’s Mental Health access ambition that an additional 345,000 children and young people ages 0-25 will have access to support via NHS funded services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams by 2023/24. Data for young adults (18-25 year olds) will be monitored separately to track improvements in their needs being met by appropriate services. Reported numbers of 0-18s receiving at least one contact in quarter 1 2021/22 was 605,012 (rolling 12-month data as at the end of Q1).
  • During the pandemic, the SDCS data collection for children and young people’s eating disorder services, published every quarter, has shown a significant increase in demand for treatment as well as an increase in the number starting treatment. In Q1 2021/22, a total of 3,452 CYP started both urgent and routine/non-urgent treatment. This compares with 1,675 CYP starting treatment in Q1 2020/21 (an increase of 1,777). However this surge in demand has impacted the system’s ability to meet the CYP Eating Disorder Standard; in quarter one of 2021/22 61.0% (520 out of 852) of children and young people with an eating disorder are receiving treatment within one week in urgent cases and 72.7% (1,889 out of 2,600) within four weeks for non-urgent cases.
  • Since April 2019, there has been a specialist community perinatal mental health service in every STP or ICS area of England. In 2020/21, specialist perinatal mental health services saw 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) 92.6% started treatment in less than six weeks and recovery is at 50.7% in quarter one of 2021/22 (above both the 50% standard).

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

Access the NHS mental health dashboard