“Mental health should not be forgotten in the effort to tackle the NHS pandemic backlog. More people than ever before have sought help with their mental health as a result of the pandemic.
“Despite commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan, services were already struggling to cope with the sheer volume of patients even pre-COVID-19. Current unprecedented demand means even more people are being treated far from home, bed occupancy is above safe levels while waiting times have soared.
“Government should make sure mental health is not side-lined during the allocation of £5.4bn for the NHS. We urgently need to bolster mental health services so that they can respond to the enormous mental health backlog. This includes sustaining funding for post-discharge mental health support beyond December 2021, to ensure patients can be discharged as soon as they are ready, reduce pressure on beds, cut waiting times as well as inappropriate out-of-area placements.”