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Royal College of Psychiatrists Patient Poll 2020

Survey of people with a diagnosed mental health condition about their experiences accessing specialist care
Of those who have been referred to an NHS mental health specialist:

•             A majority (61%) say they have had to wait for a second appointment after having their first appointment or initial assessment with the specialist – of which nearly all say this was over a week (95%) and most (64%) say this was over 4 weeks.


Of those who have waited for a second appointment with an NHS mental health specialist:

·       A quarter (25%) say they themselves or someone on their behalf has contacted emergency services (A&E, 111 or 999) as a result.

·       Two fifths (39%) say their mental health got worse while waiting for a second appointment, while a slightly lower proportion (34%) say there was no change. A quarter (25%) say their mental health got better while waiting.


Date Published: 08/10/20

Client: Royal College of Psychiatrists


Savanta ComRes interviewed 513 British adults aged 18+ with a formerly diagnosed mental health condition online between 16th and 21st September 2020. Data were weighted to be broadly representative of adults aged 18+ with a diagnosed condition by age, gender and region.
  1. RC-Psychiatrists-Bespoke-Patient-Survey_Data-Tables_September-2020-v2 0.02 MB.