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Progress in improving NHS mental health services in England

The NHS has a long-standing ambition to close the gap between mental and physical health services. Since 2014 it has implemented various initiatives, including the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health and the NHS Long Term Plan. Our study will examine whether the government has achieved value for money in its efforts to date to expand and improve NHS-funded mental health services.

Specifically, we will examine whether the Department of Health & Social Care, NHS England & Improvement and Health Education England:

  • have a clear understanding of how initiatives to date contribute to the longer-term goal of closing the gap between mental and physical health services;
  • have met ambitions to increase access, capacity, workforce and funding for mental health services, and improve service standards; and
  • are well placed to overcome the risks and challenges, including the impact from COVID-19, to achieve future ambitions.