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Mental Health Funding

Volume 659: debated on Tuesday 7 May 2019

11. What recent assessment he has made of the effect on patient outcomes of regional variations in mental health funding. (910724)

Funding allocations to clinical commissioning groups vary to meet the needs of local populations, including mental health needs. These allocations are determined by a formula managed for the NHS by the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation. For mental health, the formula takes into account patient-level data covering community, out-patient and in-patient mental health services, as well as improving access to psychological therapies activity and hospital episode statistics.

One in three early intervention in psychosis services in the north of England does not meet the standard that NHS England expects. What is NHS England doing to end this postcode lottery and ensure that my constituents can access the same high-quality mental health services as people in other areas of the country?

The hon. Lady is right to highlight this. Good care depends not only on money but on performance, and we expect the Care Quality Commission to be very challenging in inspections so that we can guarantee consistency in the quality of services, rather than experiencing the postcode lottery she mentions. I am disappointed that the CQC rated Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust as requiring improvement following the inspection in May and June last year, but we expect that challenge to continue so that there are obvious improvements.

The additional money for mental health in the NHS long-term plan is very welcome, but does the Minister share my concern that it is essential that that money reaches the frontline and results in improved services and improved access to services? What steps is she taking to ensure this money does result in improved services?

My hon. Friend will know that, in addition to the additional £2.3 billion, we are clear that this money will lead to more rapid treatment. NHS England will also be giving a really direct challenge to clinical commissioning groups and trusts to make sure improved services are delivered on the frontline.