Mental Health Strategy Delivery Plan for 2023/24

Date published: 01 August 2023

The Department of Health has today published the Mental Health Strategy Delivery Plan for 2023/24.

This plan is the second annual delivery plan to be published under the Mental Health Strategy 2021-31. It sets out the key priority actions that will be delivered during 2023/24, as well as details on progress against the 2022/23 annual delivery plan.

Department of Health Permanent Secretary, Peter May, said: “Mental ill health remains a key challenge for us all, with many services continuing to experience considerable pressures, resulting in individuals waiting longer than we would like to access provision. Within this context, ongoing implementation of our current Mental Health Strategy remains a key priority for the Department and in this regard, I am pleased to announce the publication of this year’s annual delivery plan. 

“This Plan builds on the significant progress achieved to date on implementing the Mental Health Strategy, including on those actions delivered as part of the 2022/23 plan, and sets out clearly our key priorities for the coming year.”

The Mental Health Strategy Delivery Plan for 2023/24 has been co-designed with the input and support of a range of stakeholders, including representatives from the Strategic Planning and Performance Group within the Department of Health, the Public Health Agency, Trusts, Community and Voluntary sector, the Mental Health Champion and service users.

To date, the Department has been using its existing funding to progress implementation of the Mental Health Strategy. This included additional funding approved by the former Health Minister in October 2022. While this funding allows the continuation of work on the strategy, it does not match the levels of funding required, as identified in the Mental Health Strategy Funding Plan. Consequentially, the Department is unable to do everything that it would like at this stage and so has needed to continue to prioritise the actions that can be delivered during 2023/24.

Peter May added: “Given the current financial constraints facing the Department, tough decisions have had to be taken on the actions to be included in this year’s plan and the associated allocation of funding. In doing so, we have considered the feedback from those involved in the co-design of the Plan as well as previous ministerial commitments in this area. As a result, this year’s annual delivery plan prioritises those actions that will have a direct service user impact, such as those aimed at alleviating current service pressures and improving outcomes, as well as those that will continue to enable longer term reform of our mental health provision. 

“To support this work, the Department has allocated a further £5.5m to implement this year’s delivery plan. While I acknowledge this is less than the requirements set out in the Mental Health Strategy Funding Plan, I am confident this investment will have a significant impact on improving services for individuals.

“I wish to acknowledge and put on record my thanks and appreciation to all those organisations and individuals who worked collaboratively with the Department to co-design this year’s plan. I am confident that by us adopting a similar collaborative approach to its implementation, we can continue to improve outcomes for those individuals accessing mental health services.” 

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Mental Health Delivery Plan 2023/24 can be accessed on the Department website.
  2. Work on the development of the 2023/24 Delivery Plan was undertaken during December 2022 to March 2023. This work involved several engagement events involving a range of stakeholders, including colleagues from the Strategic Planning and Performance Group, the Public Health Agency, Trusts, Community and Voluntary sector, the Mental Health Champion and service users.
  3. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email
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  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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