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Mental Health Services

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health when mental health service improvements announced in the National Service Framework for Mental Health and the NHS plan in respect of (a) crisis teams, (b) assertive outreach programmes, (c) home treatment, (d) early intervention in psychosis and (e) primary care mental health teams will be launched in Shrewsbury and Atcham. [109373]

Shropshire County Primary Care Trust is developing crisis resolution, early interventions in psychosis and home treatment services in 2003. The Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency already has an assertive outreach team and several primary care teams locally have specific mental health services, such as psychologists, counsellors and cognitive behavioural therapists. Primary care also has access to specialist counselling agencies such as Confide and Axis.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time to see a consultant psychiatrist was in (a) England and Wales, (b) each county, (c) each primary care trust and (d) each health authority in each of the last three years. [108633]

Information is collected centrally on waiting times to see a consultant psychiatrist. The information is collected by consultant's main specialty and includes the specialties mental handicap, mental illness, child and adolescent psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, psychotherapy and old age psychiatry. Information is collected for England only and can be broken down by health authority and primary care trust, but not by county. These data are available at give a breakdown of waiting time-bands.The table shows the median waiting time for patients waiting to see a consultant as an out-patient first attendance or an elective in-patient admission. Data for England was sufficiently large enough to give a reliable estimate, but the numbers for health authorities and primary care trusts were too small to give reliable estimates of the median for these levels of organisations.Between March 2001 and March 2002, the number of people waiting over 26 weeks for their first out-patient appointment for the above specialties fell from 400 at end March 2002 to less than 20 at end March 2002 and less than 10 at end December 2002.Over the same period and for the same specialties, the number of people waiting over six months for in-patient admission has fallen to less than 10 at end December 2002.

Median waiting times in weeks: psychiatric specialties





England at 31 December7.98.98.7


England: Financial year3.73.93.9


2002–3 for out-patients is only for three Quarters


In-patients: Department of Health form QF01

Out-patients: Department of Health form QMO8R