Rethink Mental Illness response to proposed NHS Mental Health Access Standards for patients

23 February 2022

The NHS has set out new ambitions for patients to have timely access to community mental healthcare, following a consultation on proposed new standards, as it faces record demand following the pandemic.

Mark Winstanley, the Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said:

“When we think of severe physical health conditions, we expect people experiencing them to receive timely and appropriate care and treatment. We should hold that same standard for people experiencing mental illness. Much like physical health, access to the right care and treatment for someone experiencing mental illness can be the difference between lives lost and lives saved, and low quality of life and high quality of life.

"We applaud the NHS for taking this important step and putting in place additional mental health access and waiting time measures. The urgent task at hand is to now ensure the resources, including workforce, are in place to deliver against the waiting times, and more broadly growing demand is not only addressed through the NHS, but a wider and comprehensive cross government plan on mental health.”