Dorset Health Campaign

"The NHS will last as long as there are people left with the faith to fight for it"

MENTAL HEALTH

 

"We have serious concerns that some of the CCGs with the highest levels of mental health need are spending significantly below the national average. "This is having a major impact on patient care."

A spokesman for the mental health charity Rethink added: " The Government has promised to treat mental health equally to physical health in the NHS but that's nowhere near the reality on the ground.

"There is a huge gulf between the demand for services and what support is actually available to people in need.

"This means that huge numbers of people who are in crisis are waiting years for treatments such as early intervention care, which has been proven to help people get better.

"Many people are missing out altogether because the services simply aren't there.

"Others are receiving substandard care because mental health services in their area are completely overstretched.

"The Government and the NHS are responsible for ensuring that the right services are in place to meet the needs of communities, but the system is failing people with mental illness and this has to change.

"We call on the Government to act on its promise to value mental health equally to physical health, by ensuring that local spend on mental health matches local demand."

 

Care and support minister Norman Lamb said: "It is unacceptable to disadvantage mental health when allocating local funds.

"When the Labour government introduced maximum waiting times for treatment, mental health was not included, creating an institutional bias against mental health.

"So we've committed to introducing access and waiting time standards for mental health from next April and we're making progress towards payment systems for services that reward great results for patients."

However the cuts in funding have caused concern among some healthcare professionals:

Prof Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said “Even small cuts at this time can have a disproportionately large effect on the welfare of our patients."

“The services are stretched to their limit and if they stretch any further, the elastic band is going to snap.”

This view was also shared by health ministers.

Care & Support Minister, Norman Lamb said: “It is completely unacceptable for local commissioners to disadvantage mental health in the allocation of funds to local health services.

“This completely conflicts with the government’s clear position that there must be parity of esteem – equality – between mental and physical health”