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Provision of adequate, ring-fenced funding for mental health services

Volume 639: debated on Thursday 19 April 2018

The petition of residents of Dulwich and West Norwood,

Declares that there is widespread concern about the deterioration of our mental health services and that those in need of care are receiving inadequate treatment as a result; further that a revolving door of admission, discharge and readmission is emerging, instead of the long term treatment that is needed; further notes that overworked professionals do not always have the time that they would like to spend with their patients to determine the best course of treatment and most appropriate support; and further that welcomes news that the Government is putting some extra funding into mental health services, but is concerned that this is insufficient, and not ring-fenced, and that despite the increase the proportion of funding that many Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs) are spending has continued to fall, including in Lambeth and Southwark.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to commit to providing adequate, ring-fenced funding for mental health services.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Helen Hayes , Official Report, 13 December 2017; Vol. 633, c. 572 .]


Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Jackie Doyle-Price):

The Government are committed to improving mental health services, as described in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, and to ensuring staff are in place to deliver these improvements, as set out in the Mental Health Workforce plan, Stepping Forward to 2020-21.

It is the Government’s view that Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are best placed to make decisions on commissioning mental health services for their communities, based on local need and working closely with local authorities and other partners.

In 2018-19 all CCGs will be required to meet the Mental Health Investment Standard—increasing their spending on mental health services each year. This will be subject to confirmation by their auditors. In 2016-17 CCGs invested £9.7 billion on mental health services, which is £575 million more than the year before.

Transparency around mental health expenditure is a key priority for the Government, which is why we are now publishing every CCG’s expenditure as part of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health Dashboard. This shows that CCG and specialised commissioning funding on mental health in England has risen to a planned £11.86 billion in 2017-18, and that Southwark CCG and Lambeth CCG both reported increased mental health expenditure in 2016-17 over the previous year.