Over 12,000 swamp mental health services

More than 12,000 people in South Tyneside were referred to mental health services last year, new figures show.

Mental health treatment action call.
Mental health treatment action call.

NHS Digital figures show around 12,340 people in the NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area were referred for a mental health appointment in 2021 – up from 10,870 the year before.

Nationally, 4.3 million people were referred for mental health care last year - up from 3.7 million in 2020 and the highest number since records began.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

NHS England says the rise in referrals has resulted in a backlog and increase in demand for services but the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP), said Government silence on the issue "continues to be of grave concern" and called for a fully-funded plan to aid mental health services to deal with the backlog.

The RCP estimate 1.4 million people eligible for mental health care in England were yet to receive it, with a further eight million deemed to liable to benefit from help if barriers preventing them from accessing care were reduced.

Dr Adrian James, RCP president, said: "The warning of the long tail of mental ill-health caused by the pandemic has not been heeded.

"Many thousands of people will be left waiting far too long for the treatment they need unless the Government wakes up to the crisis.”

The Department for Health and Social Care said an extra £2.3bn a year will be invested in mental health services by 2023-24, on top of £500m apportioned to tackle the pandemic's impact on mental health.

A Department spokesperson said it will launch a "national conversation" about mental health before publishing a long-term Mental Health Plan later this year.