Thank you for contacting me about proposals for a NHS emergency mental health helpline.
The NHS Long-Term Plan commits to ensuring a significant expansion of urgent and emergency mental health care and access to these services via NHS 111.
NHS England specifically sought views on the creation of a separate phone number for mental health from patients, clinicians and commissioners implementing local services, as well as other national mental health bodies and charities.
To achieve the ambition of a single national three digit number for mental health, stakeholders concurred that rather than creating a separate access point, we should seek to make the current main access points fit for purpose for people with urgent mental health needs.
Within the NHS 111 service, technical developments have been undertaken to ensure the mental health option is offered to callers at the earliest opportunity. These developments will go live for those areas with Mental Health Crisis lines linked via NHS 111 by March 2023, thus improving the wait time for connection to the specialist crisis mental health point of access.
Sally-Ann Hart MP.