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 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 in the context of the pandemic.

This dashboard provides transparency 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 4 of the 2021/22 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 ring-fenced 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 has been met nationally and regionally in 2021/22, and 100% of CCGs (106 in total) have met the MHIS.
  • 13.8% of local health spend is being allocated to mental health (including learning disabilities and dementia) in 2021/22. Due to changes in CCG allocation in 2021/22, in particular move from central support funding for systems to CCG allocation, the calculation of mental health spend (including learning disabilities and dementia) is not comparable between 2021/22 and previous years.

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 & Improvement’s Mental Health and Finance, regional and CCG leadership teams. CCGs were again subjected to independent review of their achievement of the Mental Health Investment Standard in 2021/22.

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 £14.98 billion in 2021/22.

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 Long Term Plan will deliver timely, high quality mental health support, including by 2023/24:

  • 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, with a single point of access 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 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) and 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 in 2022 to help us understand what further progress has been made since then.
  • In April 2021, a new headline metric was introduced to monitor how many under 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 aged 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 (18-24-year olds) will be monitored separately to track improvements in their needs being met by appropriate services, we will continue to work with NHS Digital towards including this breakdown in monthly reporting. Reported numbers of under 18s receiving at least one contact in Q4 2021/22 was 674,485 (rolling 12-month data as at the end of Q4).
  • The 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 Q4 2021/22, a total of 2,986 children and young people started both urgent and routine/non-urgent treatment (numbers published separately). This compares with 3,140 children and young people starting treatment in Q4 2020/21 and 2,203 in Q4 2019/20. The overall number of children and young people starting treatment in 2021/22 was higher than in previous years (12,457 in 2021/22 compared to 10,695 in 2020/21 and 8,034 in 2019/20), highlighting the level of continued increased demand. However this increase has impacted the system’s ability to meet the children and young people Eating Disorder Standard; in Q4 of 2021/22 61.9% (365 out of 590) of children and young people with an eating disorder are receiving treatment within one week in urgent cases and 64.1% (1,536 out of 2,396) within four weeks for non-urgent cases.
  • Since April 2019, there has been a specialist community perinatal mental health service in every ICS area of England. In Q4 2021/22, access to specialist perinatal mental health services increased to 43,656 women compared to 31,550 in Q4 2020/21. However, access is below the planned growth trajectory in 2021/22. Services are being supported to recover this trajectory as soon as possible, to meet national LTP ambitions by 2023/24. From Q3 2021/22, PMH data included access figures from Maternal Mental Health Service (MMHS).
  • As part of ’the world’s most ambitious’ talking therapy programme (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) 89.3% started treatment in less than six weeks. Recovery is at 50.5% in Q4 of 2021/22 which is above the 50% standard.
  • 72% of the country had either full or partial coverage of the 4 components of a comprehensive children and young people crisis service in Q4 2021/22. This was against a 57% public commitment for 2021/22, which shows the children and young people crisis services are expanding at pace and ahead of trajectory.

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

NHS Mental Health Dashboard