Revealed: The CCGs cutting mental health budgets

More than a fifth of commissioners are failing to raise mental health spending by as much as directed by NHS leaders, with eight actually reporting cutting their budgets, HSJ can reveal.

New figures analysed by HSJ show 46 of the country’s 209 clinical commissioning groups have failed to raise their mental health budgets from 2015-16 to 2016-17 by the same percentage as their overall allocation increase.

Increasing mental health spending at least in line with CCGs’ overall budgets is NHS England’s key measure for assessing whether commissioners are upholding the policy of “parity of esteem” for mental and physical health.

The new figures, published by NHS England, also reveal that eight CCGs have cut their planned mental health funding in cash terms this year. Nationally 163 commissioners achieved the “parity of esteem” measure, also known as the mental health investment standard.

Full story in HSJ 7 November 2016