The Chancellor's announcement of a £3.8billion above-inflation injection of funding ahead of tomorrow's Autumn spending review is a welcome response to some of the current financial pressures in the NHS. However it is crucial that mental health is put at the centre of how the money is used in order to transform services and deliver genuine equality of funding and equality of experience for people using mental health services.
We welcome the Chancellor's comments around asking for part of this front-loaded investment to go towards helping mental health trusts to meet increased demand and in implementing the Five Year Forward view, but these funds will pass through many hands before they reach trusts. As we said earlier this month, it is absolutely crucial that budgets intended to help transform mental health services are not just used to address acute sector deficits.
Mental health services deserve and demand the right funding and political support - including the introduction of treatment/access waiting time targets - to ensure people experiencing mental health conditions are treated with the same urgency as people with physical health problems. This is not currently the case and is a fundamental issue that our society must tackle.
The Mental Health Taskforce must publish its report without further delay so that work with commissioning partners can begin to ensure that the promised funds are deployed, and quickly.