During a statement on the draft mental health act, I asked:
The Bill’s focus is on individuals who are sectioned under the Mental Health Act, which is important, but I refer the Secretary of State back to the issue of waiting times raised by many Members. In December, I spoke to my constituent who was concerned about the welfare of his child who suffers from an eating disorder. At every stage, it has impacted his mental health. Despite the local services, this child is still waiting, six months on, just to see a specialist. The limited staff available cannot cope. What is the Secretary of State doing now to address the issue so that we do not see more young people suffer?
The Minister responded:
We are putting in record amounts of new investment, with newer services. During the pandemic, we established for the first time a national 24/7 all-age mental health helpline. I would like to make that permanent, beyond the pandemic. When it comes to NHS talking therapies, I mentioned earlier that some 1.25 million people were seen last year. We aim to get that up to 1.9 million over the next couple of years. When it comes to waiting times, the hon. Lady is right that there is a waiting time for high-intensity mental health services, and the NHS is of course working to bring that down. For low-intensity mental health services we have managed to bring the median waiting time down to 14 days nationally.
You can see the full question and response below:
Young people are suffering as a result of unacceptably long waiting times for mental health services.
The Government must act now to reduce waiting times, and you can see my question below: pic.twitter.com/YwfYE7ZnNI
— Florence Eshalomi MP (@FloEshalomi) June 27, 2022