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Mental Health Services

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds were available in England for those with mental health problems in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (157607)

This information is shown in the following table. The reduction in mental health bed numbers reflects the increasing provision by the national health service in England of treatment for patients with mental health conditions in primary care and community settings, without the need for hospital admissions.

Average daily beds available for acute mental health services in the national health service in England

Number

1996-97

37,640

1997-98

36,601

1998-99

35,692

1999-2000

34,173

2000-01

34,214

2001-02

32,783

2002-03

32,753

2003-04

32,252

2004-05

31,286

2005-06

29,802

2006-07

27,914

Source: Department of Health form KH03.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in England with mental health problems were prescribed (a) drug and (b) psychological treatment in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (157608)

Around 7 million adults in England have a common mental health problem, with approximately 90 per cent. of these people being treated in primary care. However, information is not collected centrally about diagnoses for any condition in primary care, so reliable data are not available about the number of people who receive, or have received specific treatments, including those with mental health problems who have been prescribed drug treatments or psychological therapies.

We know that there is a significant level of unmet need for people suffering with depression and/or anxiety disorders. This is why the Government announced on 10 October their commitment to building a new psychological therapy service, with additional investment rising to £170 million over the next three years. By 2011, this service will help to treat 900,000 more people with depression, who would otherwise not have been treated.