Data published annually by NHS Benchmarking presents a stark view of the state of UK mental health services. Despite the extraordinary commitment of NHS staff, services remain overstretched, understaffed and underfunded.
Community mental health services deal with over 700,000 people every year, and a further 1.24 million access IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) services. Average waiting times for appointments with community services stand at 13 weeks. Meanwhile the NHS staffing crisis continues with vacancy rates at a record 18%.
Immediate investment in this part of the NHS is needed. But, it's not yet clear where the priorities lie for the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay. Especially given his recent declaration that the NHS doesn't need extra cash.
Clearly there's an urgent need to improve access to mental services. And digital technology is a key part of solution, with data-driven and AI technologies helping to streamline delivery. One example is the pioneering work being done by our client, Psyomics. Early, accurate mental health diagnoses are crucial for population health.
A face-to-face psychiatric assessment is the gold standard for assessment and diagnosis, but the pathway for patients to get to this point is long and challenging. By delivering this service through their digital platform, Censeo, Psyomics are helping mental health services triage patients more effectively, identifying the right level of support for each patient from the outset.
Read more about Psyomics and our work with them.