NHS mental health dashboard

The NHS Mental Health 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 expanding capacity and improving the 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 and increased prevalence.

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 3 of the 2023/24 financial year.

Mental health services funding and investment

The NHS’s Long Term Plan reaffirms the NHS’s commitment to improve mental health care and move towards putting it on a level footing with physical health services.

Since 2015/16, 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 integrated care boards (ICBs). This is called the Mental Health Investment Standard (MHIS).  From 2019/20 onwards, as part of the NHS 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.  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 ICBs (previously CCGs).

  • The Q3 dashboard includes 2023/24 planned spend, based on the planning submissions from 16 May 2023. This is based on ICB geographies.
  • Finance data is only updated for the Q1 and Q4 dashboard. The dashboard now shows the finance position based on planned spend as at Q1 2023/24.  All ICBs are planning to meet the MHIS target and nationally plans exceed the MHIS by circa £20m (0.2%). Further, Specialised Commissioning are planning to spend £2.4bn, which is a small increase on 2022/23 outturn.
  • Spend on learning disability, autism and dementia is not included in the MHIS or in the LTP commitment to increase mental health spending by £2.3bn a year by 2023/24.
  • 2023/24 total planned spend on learning disability, autism and dementia, is £3.30bn. In 2022/23 actual spend on learning disability, autism and dementia, was £3.28bn.
  • Overall, there is an expected increase in proportion of spend at ICB on mental health (including include learning disability, autism and dementia) against base allocation, to 14.2% in 2023/24 from 14.0% in 2022/23, and 13.8% in 2021/22.
  • Spending across mental health services (Specialised Commissioning and ICB combined, including learning disability, autism and dementia) has increased each financial year to £16.81bn in 2023/24 (planned spend) from £12.51bn (actual spend) in 2018/19.
  • The commitment at national level that spending on children and young people’s mental health services will increase faster than overall spending on mental health continues to be met but is not reported as a metric in the dashboard.

Finance context

  • The finance data will remain unchanged until outturn spend is published in the Q4 2023/24 dashboard. For calculation of achievement of the MHIS, spend against additional in-year allocations is excluded.
  • The way allocations are calculated has been changed, due to changes in the categories of financial flows from NHSE to ICBs, compared to previous flows to CCGs, so the calculations from 2021/22 onwards are not directly comparable to the MH share of spend on earlier dashboards.

Mental Health Investment Standard Review

  • No Mental Health Investment Standard Review was undertaken in 2020/21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Independent reviews were reinstated for 2021/22 onwards and based on CCGs spend relating to 2021/22 and ICBs from 2022/23.

Mental health ambitions

Investment in the Long Term Plan is intended to expand access and deliver timely, high quality mental health support by 2023/24. Some of the specific ambitions to achieve this include:

  • Expanding specialist community perinatal mental health services so that 66,000 new and expectant mothers with moderate to severe or complex perinatal mental health needs can access evidence-based care closer to home.
  • Ensuring that at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-24 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 are able to access crisis care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a single point of access through NHS 111.
  • The NHS provides a single-point of access and timely, age-appropriate, universal mental health crisis care for everyone, accessible via NHS 111.
  • 390,000 people with severe mental illnesses can get an annual six-point physical health check to identify preventable health conditions that can lead to excess premature mortality for this population.

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 2018, fewer than 50% of adult crisis teams 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 100% of teams now operating an open access model via all-age urgent MH helplines and plans on track to enable the full national switchover of NHS 111 ‘select MH option’ by April 2024.
  • The NHS Long Term Plan committed that an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-24 will have access to support via NHS-funded services by 2023/24. The number of under 18s receiving at least one contact in the rolling 12 months to Q3 2023/24 was 749,833 which is an increase on the previous quarter (722,294).
  • Access data for young adults (18-24-year-olds) is monitored separately; at the end of the rolling 12 months to Q3 2023/24, 228,683 young adults received at least one contact from NHS-funded services (excluding NHS Talking Therapies), which is an increase on the previous quarter (223,178 in Q2 2023/24).
  • Since the pandemic there has been a sustained increase in demand for treatment for children and young people’s eating disorder services. From Q1 2023/24, performance for CYP eating disorder services has been reported using data from the MHSDS, following the retirement of the bespoke SDCS collection at the end of March 2023.  This means that the data from Q3 2023/24 is not directly comparable to previous years.  In Q3 2023/24 63.8% of children and young people with an eating disorder started urgent treatment within one week, a slight decrease on previous quarter (64.8%). For non-urgent cases 79.4% started treatment within four weeks, an increase on the previous quarter (75.5%). Both remain below the national standard of 95%.
  • Since April 2019, there has been a specialist community perinatal mental health service in every ICS area of England. In Q2 2023/24, access to specialist perinatal mental health services, including Maternal Mental Health Services, increased to 54,822 women which is an increase from 52,563 in Q2 2023/24. The Long Term Plan aims for perinatal mental health access to reach 66,000 by March 2023/24.
  • NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression (formerly IAPT) achieved access of 309,662 in Q3 2023/24. This is a decrease compared to access achieved in Q2 2023/24 (316,817). The Long Term Plan target is for 475,000 people to receive access. Of those that accessed the service in Q3 2023/24, 90.6% started treatment within six weeks. This is an increase from 89.2% in Q2 2023/24. The target is for 75% of people to be seen within six weeks.
  • The number of physical health checks for those with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) has increased to 292,719 this quarter, up from 279,935 in Q2 2023/24.  The LTP target is for 390,000 annual SMI physical health checks to be delivered nationally by 2023/24.
  • In Q4 2022/23, 76% of the country has coverage of the four key components of a comprehensive children and young people’s crisis service.  However, we remain on track to achieve 100% coverage by the end of 2023/24. This data is updated annually.

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

NHS Mental Health Dashboard