Cavendish Square Group response to NHS Providers report on funding for mental health services

“The 2016/17-2020/21 NHS Planning Guidance requires commissioners to ‘continue to increase investment in mental health services each year at a level which at least matches their overall expenditure increase’. Yet today’s report shows that despite an average uplift of 3.4% to commissioners’ budgets, 75% of UK Trusts do not believe they will receive additional investment for mental health this year.

“In 2014/15, London’s CCGs spent an average of 12% of their budgets on mental health with our member Trusts. In 2015/16, this dropped to a London average of 11%.

“Politicians cannot claim to be making parity a priority if they are not holding funders to account on investment in mental health services. They must step up and press on with a political will to get the promised funds – and more – to the frontlines.

The disinvestment in London’s mental health services must be reversed in order to guarantee the two million plus Londoners who experience mental ill-health each year the world-class care they deserve.

“We have the Mental Health Taskforce Report setting out a decade-long strategy for transforming mental health services but not the stable and realistic funding structures needed to implement it.

“Parity of esteem is simple to advocate but challenging to achieve when funds do not match ambition. It’s a complicated picture and we echo NHS Providers’ call for government to help better define what it means to be ‘meeting’ parity of esteem commitments, alongside providing clarity on the finances available.”

Read the full report in The Guardian online.

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