Health providers are slammed for missing mental health help targets

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A mental health charity has criticised health providers in the Mansfield and Ashfield area for failing to meet national targets for helping people with mental health problems access treatment.

The figures, from NHS England’s mental health ‘dashboard’, shows that Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) missed the national target set by NHS England for delivering talking therapies.

Their quarterly figures were 3.9 per cent of the population where the national target is 3.95 per cent.

Health chiefs say they are improving services and are now very close to hitting NHS targets.

The latest figures relate to October-December 2016 and highlight the proportion of CCGs meeting and missing their targets when it comes to increasing access to talking therapies.

Sophie Corlett of mental health group MIND said: “It’s unacceptable that nearly three in five clinical commissioning groups are missing their targets when it comes to helping local people receive talking therapy, especially as the target currently only stands at less than 16 per cent of the local population who could potentially benefit from this type of treatment. Failing to meet this target doesn’t bode well, as it will rise to 25 per cent by 2021.

“Mental health services have been woefully underfunded for years.

“Thanks to anti-stigma campaigns and movements like Heads Together and Times to Change, there’s less of a taboo when it comes to mental health, but as more people come forward and seek help, it’s vital that quality timely services are in place to meet increasing demand. No matter where you live in the country, we want to see everyone access the help they need, when they need it.”

She added: “For too long, people accessing mental health services have not had the same right to timely treatment that we all expect if we have a physical health problem. One of the recommendations to come out of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health report was to ensure that data was routinely made available to provide a clear picture of the state of mental health services. The Government accepted these recommendations, and now that these figures are available, we are able to see exactly where in the country they are falling down and hold those responsible for their delivery – CCGs - to account.”

A spokesman for Mansfield and Ashfield CCG said: ‘’Referrals to talking therapies, (also known as IAPT – Improving Access to Talking Therapies) such as counselling are increasing locally.

“Mansfield & Ashfield CCG is very close to hitting the target set by NHS England in this area.

“We are always looking at ways to improve services to ensure that people receive the support they need for mental health issues and we continue to work with providers to ensure that people are able to access services.

“An event with neighbouring CCGs and local providers is due to take place soon. In addition, we are working closely with King’s Mill Hospital, to improve access targets.”

There are several ways people can access talking therapies if they are suffering from anxiety, depression, stress or phobias. They could approach their own doctor and hospital professionals are also able to make referrals. Members of the public can also call the numbers below directly to talk to trained advisers confidentially.

Insight: 0300 555 5580

Let’s Talk – Wellbeing: 0115 956 0888

Trent PTS: 01332 265659/0115 8963160

Turning Point: 0300 555 0456