Government pledges to put more money into mental health are being broken because the NHS is not passing the money on to the NHS trusts that treat patients, a new report has revealed.
Care for people who need psychological help will suffer unless a chasm is bridged between ministerial promises and cash reaching the frontline, campaigners warn.
The disparity also threatens to undermine the historic change in 2012 that compelled the NHS in England to give physical and mental health equal priority or “parity of esteem”. Although mental ill-health accounts for 28% of the total burden of disease, it gets just 13% of the NHS’s budget.
New research undertaken by NHS Providers and the Healthcare Financial Management Association, revealed on Monday, found that only half of the 32 mental health trusts they spoke to – 55% of the total – had received a real-terms increase in their budgets in 2015-16. And only 25% said they expected NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to increase the value of their contracts for 2016-17, even though the 209 CCGs have seen an average 3.4% rise in their budgets this year.
Full story in The Guardian 9 May 2016