Alistair Cameron welcomes new mental health waiting times announcement

October 22, 2014 4:36 PM

Alistair Cameron, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman for Tewkesbury has welcomes the announcement by Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, that treatment for mental health conditions will be brought in line with other NHS services with the introduction of the first ever waiting time standards.

For the first time, from April 2015, most patients needing talking therapies - for conditions like depression - will be guaranteed the treatment they needin as little as six weeks, with a maximum wait of 18 weeks.

For many patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis, the NHS will start to provide treatment within two weeks of referral - bringing it into line with consultations for cancer. Evidence shows that treating psychosis rapidly can dramatically improve patients' chances of recovery and potentially save £44 million each year in hospital admissions.

Alistair said: "At least one in four of us will experience a mental health problem in our lives. For years, NHS waiting standards have existed for patients with physical ailments and they have drastically cut long waits. Now we are finally ending the injustice of people with mental health conditionswaiting far too long for treatment with the first ever waiting time standards for NHS mental health services."

This announcement is part of a five-year plan to end years of imbalance between mental and physical healthcare services, backed up by £40 million this year and £80 million freed up next year.