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Nick Clegg announces new waiting-time standards for mental health treatment

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that treatment for mental health conditions will be brought into line with other NHS services through the introduction of waiting time standards.

From April 2015, most patients needing talking therapies for conditions such as depression will be given treatment within 6 weeks, with a maximum waiting time of 18 weeks. For many patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis, treatment will be provided within 2 weeks of referral.

The announcement is part of a 5-year plan to reduce the imbalance between mental and physical health services, supported by £40m allocated this year and £80m next year. Other than waiting times, measures include investment in psychiatry services in acute hospitals and 50 new in-patient beds and better case management for children and young people.

More information on the announcement can be found here.