Kings Fund - Commitments to increase mental health funding not reaching the front line
Promised increases in funding for mental health services have not materialised in many areas of the country, according to a new analysis by The King’s Fund.
The analysis shows that 40 per cent of mental health trusts saw their income fall in 2015/16. This is despite the government’s commitment to parity of esteem for mental health and assurances from NHS England that almost 90 per cent of plans submitted by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) last year included mental health funding increases. NHS England had made it clear that it expected CCGs to increase mental health funding in 2015/16.
The findings are based on analysis of the annual accounts of all 58 mental health trusts in England. Given that mental health trusts provide about 80 per cent of all mental health care, the fact that income fell in so many trusts last year provides a clear indication that the promised funding increases are not reaching the front line. The analysis also showed that a higher proportion of trusts ended the year in deficit than in previous years.
The King’s Fund’s findings are a warning that the funding required to improve mental health care is not reaching the frontline services where it is most needed, which will have a direct impact on access to treatment and the quality of patient care. The Fund is also concerned that this will jeopardise plans to deliver targeted service improvements outlined by the Mental Health Taskforce earlier this year. The Taskforce’s report called for increased investment in vital services such as crisis intervention and early intervention in psychosis services.
Helen Gilburt, a Fellow in Policy at The King’s Fund who did the analysis, said:
‘The fact that the planned increases in funding for mental health have not materialised in trust finances in so many areas is worrying, as there is a really urgent need for investment.
‘Patients should expect access to timely and effective treatment, yet across the country there is widespread evidence of poor-quality care, and patients are increasingly reporting a poor experience of mental health services. Many of the pressures in mental health are being seen in areas of care where patients are most vulnerable.
‘While we welcome the commitments to increase funding, the experience of last year shows that parity of esteem for mental health continues to remain under threat.’
Helen Gilburt has set out the analysis of mental health trust funding in a blog post: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2016/10/trust-finances-mental-health-taskforce
Notes to editors:
The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.
For further information, or to request an interview, please contact The King’s Fund Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).
Latest News from
Budget fails acid test to level up: IPPR North responds to the Budget and Spending Review27/10/2021 16:35:00
Jonathan Webb, a senior research fellow at IPPR North responded to today’s Autumn Budget
Institute of Economic Affairs: Autumn Budget 2021 response27/10/2021 16:15:00
Mark Littlewood, Director General at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget 2021
Adam Smith Inst - Spendy Sunak: The ASI responds to Budget 202127/10/2021 15:15:00
The Adam Smith Institute’s Head of Programmes Daniel Pryor responded to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 2021 Budget
Public sector pensions cost £57bn per year more than is declared, finds new IEA research26/10/2021 13:35:00
Public sector pensions cost £57bn per year more than is declared, finds new research
Adam Smith Inst - Global minimum tax could cost Britain billions26/10/2021 12:35:00
Minimum global corporate tax will undermine sovereignty and key Government policies
There should be greater caution in setting minimum wages, says IEA expert26/10/2021 11:35:00
Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on the Chancellor’s plans to raise the minimum wage to £9.50 an hour
IFS - School spending per pupil highest in Scotland, lowest in Northern Ireland26/10/2021 10:35:00
In the current year (2021–22), core school spending per pupil is expected to be highest in Scotland (over £7,500), similar levels in England (£6,700) and Wales (£6,600), and lowest in Northern Ireland (£6,400).
IEA - UK Climate Change Committee in urgent need of reform, says new research26/10/2021 09:35:00
A new paper, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), puts the UK’s Climate Change Committee – and its activities – under the spotlight. Its author, IEA Head of Regulatory Affairs Victoria Hewson, concludes that the CCC has expanded well beyond its statutory obligations and acts in an overtly political way. It has failed to communicate and, at times, purposefully suppressed, the full cost of its proposed climate policies.
JRF - Large-scale study reveals scale of debt crisis among low-income households21/10/2021 13:35:00
A large-scale study of households on low incomes has revealed the extent of the debt crisis hanging over the UK’s poorest families as the country braces to weather a cost-of-living crisis.