NHS England aims to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health

Posted By Kirsty Dakin - 27th July 2021

We are pleased to see that NHS England wants to introduce new waiting time targets for patients who attend A&E suffering a mental health crisis so that they are seen much faster than before. The aim is to create parity between mental health and physical health. There are currently targets governing the length of time that patients should wait before being seen in A&E, which depend on the condition that they present with, for example, heart attack or orthopaedic injury, but no similar targets for patients presenting with mental health problems. There will be 5 targets, which will hopefully mean that people will get support quickly when they need it. The move is supported by mental health charities but others have criticised it, saying that it could dangerously overstretch A&E departments and could mean that patients with urgent, life threatening conditions, such as sepsis or stroke, do not receive the care that they need in time.